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Sunday, 31 October 2010

park of the monsters

originally uploaded to flickr by workflo
Amusement parks and fairground rides are all very well, but Pier Francesco Orsini's 17th-century Park Of The Monsters (link via Kuriositas) in Bomarzo, central Italy is a weird and wonderful thrill attraction of a wholly fantastical kind.

Random oversized mythological creatures and gape-mouthed ogres await the astonishment of visitors, lurking amid foliage and plants, apparently appearing out of hillsides and beckoning entry to who knows what kind of underworld.

Restoration work on the formerly neglected gardens means that some of the best sculptures are protected by fences, but the surreal magic of the place that influenced the likes of Salvador Dalí, Jean Cocteau and Niki De Saint Phalle still dominates. And who wouldn't love to imagine, walking around, that these stone behemoths might come to life?

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