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The Biblical Gardens are an adaptation of the Revelation contained in the Holy Scriptures and, through the compositions of plants, landscapes and architectural installations, they expressively convey the artistic vision of the Word of God. They show scenes from the Old and New Testaments. In the gardens you can find compositions of plants known from the pages of the Bible and found in Jerusalem or Palestine, known from the Middle Ages as the Holy Land. Muszyna Biblical Gardens is the fourth and largest facility of this type in Poland. They cover 1.2 ha and are a place of special closeness to religion. For people of other faiths, they are a walking and botanical garden with a composition of plants and the landscape of the Holy Land. Tourists staying there can learn about the flora of Palestine, Israel, and the dry and harsh desert landscape that accompanied people in the times of Christ. The Muszyna Bible Gardens have been divided into five thematic zones. The first is the Salvation History Garden. It shows the history from the birth of the world to its end contained in the apocalypse of St. John. The second zone is the Garden of Biblical Landscapes. The compositions it contains present the geography of the Holy Land, as well as selected elements of agriculture in biblical times. In the next part of the garden, you can learn about the teachings of the prophets whose role was to bring God's Messianic message to people. Next, a corner for children was arranged. The last zone is the Lovers' Garden. Its composition and biblical texts are to foster religious education and contemplation combined with pleasant spending of time. The journey through the Bible Gardens begins at the Paradise Gate. It is guarded by one of the cherubim - a winged angel with a shining sword that guards the way to the tree of life, which is shown in the relief on the top of the gate, which symbolizes the passage from the human world, the profane, to the divine world - the sacred. The signs used in the composition of the gate are not accidental: the circle and the square inscribed in each other symbolize the divine perfection of the circle and the down-to-earth aspects contained in the rigid body of the square. The flowing streams are a metaphor for the water of life that gives the power of existence to the garden and people by being immersed in the Word of Life. The letters from the Greek alphabets Alpha and Omega refer to the words: "I am Alpha and Omega, speaking the Lord God who is who was and who is to come, almighty" (Rev 1: 8). The gate in the Christian religion is of great importance and often appears in the Scriptures to mention, for example, the words of the Son of God - Jesus Christ "I am the gate. If anyone enters through me, he will be saved ”(Jn 10: 1-21).
Salvation History Garden
The main part of the Muszyna Bible Gardens, called the Garden of Salvation History, is built on a square plan with dimensions of 40 x 40 m. The number forty is often mentioned in the Bible during important events: 40 days of Jesus 'fast in the desert, 40 years of the Chosen People's wandering through the desert, 40 days of Goliath's siege of the camps of Israel, 40 days of the Great Flood, and finally 40 days from Jesus' resurrection to Pentecost. This number refers to various events - joyful, sad, dramatic, glorious, moments of deeper reflection, but also struggle. Like human life, which is made up of a variety of events. The Salvation History Garden has been thematically divided into four parts: "Old Testament", "The Life and Work of Jesus", "The Resurrection of Jesus and His Final Teachings" and "Letters of the Apostles". To learn the biblical history of salvation according to the chronology contained in the Holy Scriptures, one should follow the numbering of the individual arrangements (from 1 to 63). It is not necessary, however, because as you can read the Bible from any chosen verse, you can continue your journey in the Bible Gardens by choosing your own path. In the part about the Old Testament, visitors can see, among others with the history of Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses or the history of the Chosen People during the Egyptian captivity. An interesting composition is also the conclusion of God's covenant with people by giving them the decalogue stored in the Ark of the Covenant. This part also includes the Temple of King Solomon, the model of which is made in a 1:12 scale. The interactive sculpture showing the passage of the Chosen People through the Red Sea, which parted for them while fleeing the Egyptians, is of great interest. Passing among the two walls symbolizing the "column of water on the right and on the left", a refreshing stream of water is released, covering the structure. The sound of the water allows you to feel the moments of terror described in the Book of Exodus. Another part of the Salvation History Garden deals with the life and work of Jesus. It begins with His birth, symbolized by the star of Bethlehem with a "braid" on which are written the names of Christ's ancestors. Its culmination is a stone nursery referring to the birth of God on earth. Other themes in this part of the garden are: Jesus' baptism, His 40-day fast in the wilderness, the choice of 12 apostles, and the miracles He performed. A characteristic element of this path is the sculpture referring to the Parable of the Prodigal Son, which reminds us of God's great mercy. The third part of the Garden of Salvation History alludes to Jesus' Resurrection and His final teachings. There are, among others a gate-shaped cross symbolizing Golgotha, where Jesus was crucified, the grotto in which
His body was rested and the sculpture of the resurrection of the Son of God. An interesting arrangement is the upper chamber in which the Holy Spirit was sent to the apostles. This event was accompanied by fiery tongues that rested over each of the apostles, communicating to them the gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, skill, piety and the fear of God. The twelve flames in the Upper Room symbolize the apostles during the sending of the Holy Spirit. The thirteenth flame placed above the gate refers to Mary who, as the Mother of the Church, stood in prayer with the apostles, awaiting the Holy Spirit. The last, fourth, part of the Garden of Salvation History consists of excerpts from the Apostolic Letters. The quotes presented are only a small part of the wealth of the teachings of the apostles and are an encouragement to further contemplate and search for possibilities of their application in everyday life. In the center of the Garden of Salvation History there is a sculpture which is an artistic vision of the Apocalyptic Temple of "New Jerusalem" described in the apocalypse of St. John: “And he showed me a river of the water of life, shining like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb. Between the town square and the river, on both banks, the tree of life bearing twelve fruits - bearing its fruit each month - and the leaves of the tree are used to heal the nations ”(Rev 22: 1-2).
Garden of biblical landscapes
It consists of three rectangles together forming a square - a symbol of earthly human activity. The first part shows the dry, rugged desert landscape filled with sharp and inaccessible rocks, bluffs and deep riverbeds that fill with water during the rainy season. The vegetation here is poor and sparse, and life in such a place is certainly not easy. Deserts cover more than half of the Holy Land, so it's no wonder that descriptions of them are often found in the Bible. The word desert occurs almost 400 times in the Scriptures. Until now, this area is a place of life and work for shepherds. The garden arrangement of the desert was created to illustrate several parables of Jesus. Among them, it is worth mentioning the one about the lost sheep: “Who among you, when you have a hundred sheep and lose one of them, does not leave ninety-nine in the desert and follow the loss until he finds it? And when he finds her, he happily takes it on his shoulders and returns home. He asks his friends and neighbors and tells them: Rejoice with me because I have found a lost sheep. I tell you, in the same way, in heaven there will be greater joy in one sinner who repents than in ninety-nine righteous who do not need repentance "(Lk 15: 7-7). A miniature of the Jordan River and the Sea of Galilee (also known as Lake Gennesaret or Lake Tiberias) meanders through the center of the garden. A boat is anchored at its shore, which is a reference to the miraculous catch of fish during the revelation of Jesus after the resurrection. The river flows as far as the mouth of the Dead Sea - a body of water whose water surface is at the lowest point of the earth. The salinity of the Dead Sea is so great that there is almost no plant or animal life in it. A stop in this part of the garden is a kind of geography lesson. Along the river are important places mentioned in the Bible: Bethlehem, Beersheba, Dan, Nazareth, Capernaum, Cana of Galilee, Jerusalem, Jericho, Shechem, Sodom and Gomorrah, Sarepta, Emmaus, Bethany. There are also mountains: Mount of Beatitudes, Nebo, Carmel, Tabor and Sinai. The third part of the landscape garden relates to Israel's agriculture in biblical times. It was well developed and agricultural products were successfully exported to other countries, as evidenced by ancient trade documents. Machines for pressing olives and grapes are presented in the garden. Pressing olives, unlike grapes, requires greater pressure, e.g. by a heavy stone moved by a person or an animal. Grapes were pressed in a device carved into the rock or made of stones connected with mortar and consisting of two containers. Grapes were poured into the upper one and trampled on with bare feet. The juice obtained in this way filtered into the lower container, from where it was poured into the dishes after standing. The final judgment is presented as harvesting and pressing of grapes in the Apocalypse of St. John: "And the angel threw his sickle on the earth, and picked a bunch of vines of the earth, and threw it into the press of God's wrath - enormous. And the press was trampled outside the city, and from the press the blood gushed out to the bits of the horses for a thousand and six hundred furlongs. " (Rev 14: 19-20). In the garden, four types of wheat, two species of barley, sorghum, millet, as well as vegetables and herbs are grown in the plots. All plants have descriptions and quotations from the Bible.
Lord's Vineyard and the Teaching of the Prophets
There are several arrangements in the gardens relating to agriculture from biblical times. There is a stone watchtower here, which was often erected next to vineyards. They served as a shelter for people tending the vineyard and at the same time an observation point against thieves or wild animals. In the lower parts of the tower, there were places for aging wine, as there was a constant temperature there, suitable for this process. Here, too, you can observe differences in the way grapes are grown in Europe and the Middle East. In the Holy Land, it was difficult to find a building material such as wood. Therefore, stones were used as supports for vine vines. This had multiple benefits. The stone, which was warming up from the sun, slowly gave its heat to the plant, thus alleviating large temperature drops at night. In turn, in the morning dew appeared on the stones, which could be absorbed by the vines. Opposite the vineyard is a part of the garden dedicated to the prophets and their messianic prophecies. Scripture passages from 16 prophets are presented here: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Obadiah, Amos, Hosea, Micah, Zephaniah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Haggai, Zacheriah, Malachi, Joel, and Jonah. There is also a source of mineral water here. The crystal clear water pouring from the rock brings to mind the story of the prophet Moses. During the 40-year journey of the Jews through the desert to the promised land, they ran out of water. The people rebelled, but Moses asked for God's help. It is described in the Book of Exodus: "Take the rod and gather all the congregation together with your brother Aron. Then speak to the rock in their presence, and it will give water. Bring the water out of the rock and give the people and their cattle to drink." "Then Moses raised his hand and struck the rock twice with his staff. Then the water gushed out so abundantly that both the people and their cattle could drink." (Numbers 20: 8-11). The story is an allegory of the abundance of God's grace, but it also refers to the biblical message about the water of life, that is, the Holy Spirit. Interestingly, the water flowing from the spring is rich in high magnesium content, i.e. the element of life. That is why it is worth trying its invigorating and delicious taste. The source was discovered in 2016, which coincided with the 400th anniversary of bringing the statue of Our Lady - Lady of Muszyna from the Wawel Cathedral to Muszyna. In honor of this event, the spring was named "Mary".
Children's Bible Garden
This is a part of the garden dedicated to children. There are large blocks and a sandbox here. A place where the youngest, together with their parents or guardians, can devote themselves to play and catechesis. Through contact with nature and beauty, creatures can learn about the natural revelation hidden in the world and learn to be in harmony with the nature of creating a new world. Jesus especially loved children, which is expressed in his words in the Gospel of St. Mark: "Let the children come to me, do not forbid them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God" (Mk 10: 13-16).
It has the shape of a labyrinth made of a humpback hedge with a target height of approx. 2 m. There is only one path in the maze leading to the center of the garden. It is a reference to the journey that every human being must go from birth to death. In the middle of the labyrinth there is a fish made of boxwood - a symbol of Christians, but also life, fertility, birth and rebirth, i.e. all aspects related to engagement, marriage and family. The fragments of the Bible presented in the garden refer to "First parents", "Marriage and responsibility" "," Education of children ", and" Trust in God's help. "
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The gardens are open from Tuesday to Sunday.
Tuesday - Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00