The series of books (originally published in Germany but some titles now available in English) 111 places that one must see includes only the non-famous sights and places off the beaten track. One of the 111 places that we “must see” in Tenerife was the Mariposa Sculpture Garden up in the hills near Arona, about a 20 minute drive from Palm Mar.
The Garden is open to the public between 10am and 1pm each day. It doesn’t actually close at 1 you just have to be in there by that time. We arrived about 12noon thinking that 1 hour would be plenty. In fact it was after 2pm when we finally managed to drag ourselves away but only to find somewhere for lunch.
What a pity the ‘Tin Can Bar’ wasn’t open
Hans-Jürgen Müller and his wife together with 90 artists worked for 20 years on the creation of Mariposa (the Spanish word for butterfly) sculpture garden. Currently it is 2.5ha of peace and contemplation with many sculptures and art spaces, gardens, small houses, and opportunities for play outside – chess, bowling, mazes. Since 1993 this small scrubby hillside area has been transformed, without any particular plan – just using “the spirit of the place” – by gardeners, artists, sculptors, landscapers and many Canary Island workers into a complete work of art – unique in the world.
The Golden Steps
Panels depicting the Creation
Was it by chance that the blue glass discs on the ground reflected the sky above?
At many points during our visit it seemed that we had reached the end or turning point but a small gap in the vegetation or a few discreetly positioned steps would lead us on into another, sometimes sheltered and sometimes exposed, intriguing installation or outdoor space.
The Beautiful (and tempting!) Pool Area
Source of the ‘Rio Corazon’ which flows through the site
The Outdoor Bathroom, with Butterflies
The same quotation is repeated on each block in different languages and the words will glow in the dark “Night is the Earth’s Shadow” Installation by Vera Röhm
My daytime visit to Mariposa was one of the highlights of my visit to Tenerife but here’s a glimpse of what it looks like at night.
Anyone for Chess?
A Little Pink House and the Site is overlooked by the Casa Blanca which stands next to another whole area where more gardens are planned
It’s open not only to daily visitors but also to groups of up to 16 for conferences, seminars, sabbaticals and discussions since 2006. Young people and students are especially encouraged to take advantage of the class and seminar facilities.
The Mariposa Gardens are definitely a “must see” on Tenerife. You are ‘warned’ on the handout – “Don’t forget comfortable shoes, a sunhat and your camera!”