Gardens - The mazes

According to the definition, a maze is a puzzle with one or more false branches. It is a rebus which is solvable and has a goal which is reachable.

The history of mazes has been recorded  for 3,000 years. Mazes had a social importance, being used for meditation and ritual ceremonies. In France, the maze paving in Gothic cathedrals depicted the Crusades and the road to Jerusalem. In Scandinavia around 600 stone mazes have been found along the Baltic Sea. They were probably built by fishermen who went through them, hoping for a good hunt and a happy return. During the Renaissance mazes were established in royal gardens. This trend probably started in Italy and soon spread throughout Europe.

In our gardens you can try three different types of maze:

Classical called Cretan labyrinth is the easiest. Its diameter measures only 14.5 m. Its roads are narrow, designed for one person only, because the maze was used mostly for meditation. It is planted with blue fescue (Festuca glauca L.).

Celtic turf maze is also circular, the diameter is 20 m. Its backbone consists of stones between which in the interstices hyssop is planted, (Hyssopus officinalis L.). The road is wide enough to go in both directions.

The maze with the tall hedge is typical of the late 18th and early 19th century and they were for entertainment purposes only. Ours is made up of the evergreen shrub white cedar (Thuja occidentalis L.) ‘Brabant’, which, due to its height helps make the maze more challenging, as you will find out for yourself.