Gardens of Bomarzo

Gardens of Bomarzo

The Sacro Bosco ("Sacred Grove"), colloquially called Park of the Monsters (Parco dei Mostri in Italian), also named Garden of Bomarzo, is a Mannerist monumental complex located in Bomarzo, in the province of Viterbo, in northern Lazio, Italy.

The garden was created during the 16th century. Situated in a wooded valley bottom beneath the castle of Orsini, it is populated by grotesque sculptures and small buildings located among the natural vegetation.

History

The park's name stems from the many larger-than-life sculptures, some sculpted in the bedrock, which populate this predominantly barren landscape. It was commissioned by Pier Francesco Orsini, called Vicino, a 16th-century condottiero, and patron of the arts, greatly devoted to his wife Giulia Farnese (not to be confused with her maternal great-aunt Giulia Farnese, the mistress of Pope Alexander VI). When Orsini's wife died, he created the gardens to cope with his grief. The design is attributed to Pirro Ligorio, and the sculptures to Simone Moschino.

During the 19th century, and deep into the 20th, the garden became overgrown and neglected, but after the Spanish painter Salvador Dalí made a short movie about the park, and completed a painting actually based on the park in the 1950s, the Bettini family implemented a restoration program which lasted throughout the 1970s, and today the garden, which remains private property, is a major tourist attraction.

The Leaning House
Lion sculpture
Elephant
Fury
Temple
Zones
Typology
Position
64
Rank
1479
Categories
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