Ogród biblijny - nowy typ ogrodu tematycznego

Zofia Włodarczyk


Although biblical gardens have been founded from the beginning of the twentieth century in various countries around the world, there is no professional information about the principles of their creation in the literature on garden art and even no definition of this term in Polish and foreign dictionaries. It is thus necessary and important to systematize the knowledge of such objects. Therefore, the present study aimed to determine the main characteristics of a biblical garden, which can be classified as a new type of theme gardens. The first biblical garden was established in 1940 in Carmel, California (USA), and was followed by biblical gardens in Ojai, California, USA (1958), in Bangor, Wales, UK (1962), in Camber, Australia (1966), in Neot Kedumim, Israel (1968) and in Hamburg, Germany (1979). All of those were created by academic researchers from universities and botanical gardens who used original plant species that are listed in biblical texts, and termed them ‘biblical plants’. The plants carried labels with their scientific (Latin) and native language names as well as appropriate quotations from the Bible. From the very beginning, water garden arrangements were created, with water acquiring there the symbolic meaning of ‘living water’, which is a symbol of Jesus. The other important symbol used in the gardens was a cross. The plants were planted in such a way that they created illustrations to some biblical themes arranged in a complete history of salvation, which is presented from the first to the last book in the Bible. Biblical gardens are located in the USA, in many European countries and in Australia. They are established by Jews, Catholics and Protestants, sometimes working together, united in ecumenical activity. They also serve as a place of therapy for disabled people and a place of tolerance learning, especially for school children. The number of biblical gardens significantly increased in the Millennium Year and in 2003 declared the Year of the Bible. Such gardens still enjoy popularity, especially in Germany, where they are founded not only by Protestants but also by Catholics. Much of inspiration for creating this type of gardens comes from travellingto the Holy Land or visiting one of the existing biblical gardens, but it is also derived from various dramatic events such as the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 on the World Trade Center in New York or the end of the war on the Balkan Peninsula. Half of the 60 gardens studied are situated in the vicinity of sacral buildings, while the others are located in the area of schools, city parks or botanical gardens and arboreta. The biblical gardens vary in size, covering from 25 m2 to several hectares. In all the gardens, plants are cultivated in the ground; additionally, in about half of them some species grown in greenhouses are taken outdoors for the summer. Forty percent of the objects have a geometric design, about 28% have an informal layout, and about 18% have a complex composition. The biblical gardens contain numerous biblical symbols, among them a bush of grapevine as a picture of Jesus, running water as a symbol of life (so-called ‘living water’), a cross, a desert, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the Red Sea, the Α and Ω letters, an empty tomb, a star, a snake, a dove, and the destroyed temple of Jerusalem. More biblical themes in the gardens are derived from the Old Testament (19) than from the New Testament (14). Eight themes are common to the Old and New Testaments, such as theology of the desert, biblical characters, genealogy of Jesus, faith, theology of the bread, life and death, history of the salvation, and geography of Palestine. The theology of the grapevine and vineyard as an image of Jesus is the most popular biblical topic, present in 19 gardens, followed by the events in the Paradise (in 18 objects), and the parables of Jesus (in 16 gardens). Based on the research findings, the definition of a biblical garden and the rules of its creation have been formulated. Concluding, a biblical garden is a new type of a theme garden as its composition and contents refer to one subject – the Bible. Depicting the flora of the Middle East it is an example of a theme garden in terms of natural sciences, while illustrating the Bible texts it is a theme garden in literary terms. A biblical garden may also be perceived as a sensory garden since it refers to the senses of sight, touch, hearing, smell and taste.
Other language title versionsBiblical garden – a new type of theme gardens
Book typeMonograph
Author Zofia Włodarczyk (FoH / DoOP)
Zofia Włodarczyk,,
- Department of Ornamental Plants
PublisherUniwersytet Rolniczy im. Hugona Kołłątaja w Krakowie, MNiSW [80]
Publishing place (Publisher address)Kraków
Issue year2013
Book series /Journal (in case of Journal special issue)Zeszyty Naukowe Uniwersytetu Rolniczego im. Hugona Kołłątaja w Krakowie. Rozprawy, ISSN 1899-3486, (0 pkt)
Publication size in sheets14
Internal identifierWBiO/5/143
Languagepl polski
Ogród biblijny – nowy typ ogrodu tematycznego 10,33 MB
Ogród biblijny – nowy typ ogrodu tematycznego 60,34 MB
Score (nominal)25
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