Perhaps no other architectural design or structure has endured the centuries with as much history, lore and mystery as the labyrinth. From the fabled labyrinth in Crete created by Daedalus for King Minos to house the dangerous minotaur, to the reflective and enlightening creations which have graced the grand cathedrals of Europe since the Middle Ages, labyrinths have played a fascinating and often inspirational role in the art, architecture and literature of civilization.
Labyrinths have been found all over the world and in just about every culture. The web blog, Red Tricycle, listed Forest Lawn’s labyrinth, located on the forecourt of the Gardens of Contemplation in Glendale, as one of the best in Los Angeles.
Basically, a labyrinth is a structure or pattern composed of intricate passageways, blind alleys and chambers. It may contain branched paths intended to mislead or one long continuous path leading to a central purpose.
While no one knows for certain why labyrinths were created in cathedrals, those who have walked their paths have claimed to feel spiritually uplifted.
Forest Lawn’s labyrinth is modeled after the one at the Cathedral at Chartres. The original was crafted in the church nave from colored stones. It is believed that the parishioners embarked on a journey symbolic of Christ’s walk to the cross. As the sojourners would make their way along the twisting, turning path, they would reflect on personal matters, remember romances past and present, or ponder the mystery of life. Upon reaching the labyrinth’s center people young and old would find a renewed sense of fulfillment and purpose in their lives.
We invite you take advantage of the great spring weather and stop by and visit Forest Lawn’s labyrinth. As you make your way around its stone path, you may find it a time of renewal and reflection, or experience a sense of comfort. It may be a time where you decide to follow your heart or reflect upon life’s turning points.
Whatever your experience, we hope that it leaves you inspired and uplifted.