El Castillo de Edward James; A Surrealist Garden | Mexico

Weird surreal structures with odd names, jungle, humidity and a lovely smell of fresh rain. Yes, I’m talking about Las Pozas; Edward James’ Surrealist Garden. My boyfriend and I are on a roundtrip through central and north Mexico and we finally got around visiting Pueblo Magico; Xilitla. A tiny town in the state of San Luis Potosi where Las Pozas is located.

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I had been dreaming about visiting this place for a couple of months now so I surely had high expectations. Guess what, my expectations weren’t high enough, it’s indescribable; the nature, the structures, the atmosphere, the animalsounds. Everything. Edward James definitely succeeded in his mission of making a surrealistic garden. Originally though, he wanted to create his own Garden of Eden. He planted thousands of flowers and held exotic animals in the garden but due to a harsh winter, the animals and plants didn’t survive. Being sad and frustrated, Edward figured that this could not happen again and decided to make something that wouldn’t wither by harsh climate. That’s how the structures were born. He designed them all by himself.

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The first structure that was built was The House on Three Floors Which Will in Fact Have Five or Four or Six. It is said that this might have inspired him to design the other structures.

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The first structure he built.

Edward James studied literature at university and has written poems himself, maybe that’s why he gave the structures odd names. Names like; The House of the Flamingos, Road of the Seven Deadly Sins, The House with a Roof Like a Whale, The Staircase to Heaven etc. Apparently the artist himself was a bit odd too. According to Salvador Dali, he was “crazier than all the surrealists together”.

Walking though Las Pozas is like an otherworldly experience. Walking through a city which hasn’t been discovered yet. Walking though the imaginary world of a man who is not longer of this earth but who had an imagination so strong it managed to break through everything.

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Tips:

  • Go during weekdays and try to go in the morning
  • Wear hikingboots
  • Bring your bikini, you can swim in the pools/river (or better, wear it already, there are no changing rooms in the park. There are toilets though)
  • Bring food, you might spend a couple of hours there
  • Don’t book a hotel (unless you’re going during weekends or holidays). Just go to Xilitla, there are several places where you can camp or rent cabañas for a good price. Taxis or collectivos will take you there.
  • Spend a couple of hours in the town, Xilitla, itself. It’s beautiful and cute.
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You can swim here. There’s also a waterfall close to this place.

How to get there?

If you’re in Mexico City (most likely you will), go to Central del Norte (busstation) and take a bus called Ovnibus to Xilitla. It takes around 9 hours.

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Where? Xilitla, San Luis Potosi.

Sources:

http://www.archdaily.com/790389/inside-las-pozas-edward-james-surrealist-garden-in-the-mexican-jungle

http://www.laspozasxilitla.org.mx

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8 comments

  1. This would totally be something for me! Surrealism is my favorite of all art! I cannot believe that S. Dali said that… he was already super crazy. Thanks, for sharing this with us!

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    • You should definitely go there! There are no words to describe how special it is. Not just the garden but the whole area. You could go to las Grutas de Tolantongo (Ixmiquilpan) and take a bus from there to Xilitla, both with Ovnibus – that’s what we did. Thank you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You had me at “you can swim in the pools/rivers”! That’s amazing that you can do that specially if you’re surrounded by that beauty. The structures are a bit weird but there’s beauty in it. I have to say that I’ve never heard of this place before. :p

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