Credit: MorguefileThe Labyrinth, in Greek mythology, was an elaborate structure that was deliberately designed and built to be difficult to navigate. The Romans used labyrinth designs primarily to decorate the walls and floors in tile or mosaic. As all labyrinths are unicursal, they will have only one path unlike mazes that are multicursal with many paths. You will find 2 basic patterns - Classical, with 7 paths surrounding the centre and the Chartres, which is basically the medieval style. The oldest known labyrinth is seen on a piece of pottery found in southern Greece. Labyrinths have also been found in different parts of the world such as North Africa, Indonesia, India, Europe and Middle East. They have also been found in parts of North America.
For the past couple of decades, there has been a renewed interest in labyrinths. Perhaps it is due to the growing interest in self-awareness and spiritual growth. It is common to see Labyrinths in gardens, parks, churches. You will also find them in many hospitals where they are walked by the staff and the recovering patients so as to help reduce the stress and spread positivism. They are also used extensively in retreat centers and community groups and for meditation. In fact it is also used in some schools as an activity zone for students. It is believed to stimulate creative thinking and problem-solving.
This is Australia’s oldest and largest maze, measuring three meters by two meters wide. Situated near Melbourne, the gardens also possess the world’s oldest rose maze.
Richardson Farm in Illinois
Every year a new maze is created here so as to be enjoyed by the people who just love to get lost amongst the nature. This Aztec style labyrinth is a favorite with all.
The castle like labyrinth has only one way to get in and come out. Therefore plan carefully to find the escape route and avoid confusions.
Reignac-sur-Indre in Touraine, France
This was once one of the world’s biggest plant mazes. Circular in shape, the labyrinth covers 10 acres of land. Careful designing, planning and farming allows the field to be reaped every year and then grown back.
Cherry Crest Adventure Farm in Lancaster County
This corn maze labyrinth may trail over five acres, but it is difficult to get lost. In case you find yourself stranded, there is always some help nearby.
Hampton Court Palace
Planted in the 1600s for King William of Orange, this elaborate labyrinth covers a wide area of 60 acres. This is one of the most elaborate works.
Georgeson Botanical Garden in Fairbanks, Alaska
Work is still in progress over this labyrinth, even after seven years. This is going to be one of the best labyrinths in the world.
There are many other world famous labyrinths such as Dole Plantation, Reignac-sur-Indre, Davis Mega Maze, Longleat, Ashcombe, Hampton Court Maze, The Imprint, Grace Cathedral, Victoria Park Water Maze, Lands End Labyrinth, Brick Maze of Capri and Labyrinth Garden Flowers. If you are unable to visit a labyrinth, small scale replicas and finger labyrinths are intended to provide a similar feeling of tranquility and interconnectedness.