Who would have guessed? Just an hour north of Lisbon, in the countryside, is a beautiful managed garden intended as “a place for reconciliation.” Buddha Eden is 35 hectares (86 acres) of natural fields, lakes, manicured gardens, contemporary sculpture…and Buddhist statuary!



The story of how the garden came into existence is both intriguing and endearing.  In 2001, wealthy Portuguese investor and art patron José Berardo was shocked by the Taliban government’s destruction of the Giant Buddhas in Afghanistan.  In response to the demolition of these masterpieces of the late Gandhara period, Berardo initiated the Buddha Eden in an homage to the cultural and spiritual monuments.

Buddha Eden Portugal

Six tons of marble Buddhas and figures were are installed throughout the garden. Walkways, piers and gazebos provide access to areas for contemplation. And additional feature of the gardens is a cobalt blue replication of the Terracotta Army from China.

bacalhoa buddha eden portugal

A portion of Berardo’s vast sculpture collection is here too. The Garden of Modern and Contemporary Sculpture showcases works by Joana Vasconcelos, Alexander Calder, Fernando Botero, Tony Cragg, Lynn Chadwick, Allen Jones and many others. The African Sculpture Art Garden is dedicated to the Shona people of Zimbabwe, who for over a thousand years have carved stone by hand into works of art. There are more than 200 African works arranged under the shade of 1000 palms.

The non-profit Berardo Foundation manages the facility with the mission to create a space for all people regardless of religious affiliation, ethnicity, national origin, sex, age or social standing.  They call for unity, communication and meditation as a way to discover happiness.  And, perhaps in doing so, these actions counterbalance the destruction in Afghanistan, and instead, spread a culture of peace.

bacalhoa buddha eden portugal
For more information, visit the Buddha Eden website.

Bacalhôa Buddha Eden
Quinta dos Loridos

Phone: +351 262 605 240
Mobile: +351 913 005 087
Email: visitas@loridos.com

Hours: Everyday – 9:00 to 18:00 (closed Christmas and New Years)

Admission: €3.00 per adult, €4.00 train ride, children under 12 free.

Photos 1 & 2 are courtesy of Bacalhôa Buddha Eden. Photos 3, 4 and 5 are property of Portugal Confidential.

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