Labyrinths in Places

Labyrinths are found in many places. Some are permanent and some are brought in temporarily for events. The challenge for labyrinth enthusiasts is often how to get permission to introduce a labyrinth into a specific environment. This section of the website examines some of the places where labyrinths may be found, the benefits of having them there, how they are used, and how people were able to install them there in the first place!

1. How are Labyrinths Used in Recreation?

Labyrinths and mazes have been part of recreational life for millennia. They were used in conjunction with sophisticated games in ancient Greece on through the medieval period in Europe. Scant records exist about dances and games played in labyrinths in medieval churches and more recently in labyrinths, especially those still found in England and across Scandinavia. When formal gardens and parks arose during the Renaissance in Europe, they at times included labyrinths and mazes. Today, labyrinths are undergoing a modern revival in response to the contemporary needs of our times. As cultural enhancements to modern parks, labyrinths are flexible in their ability to meet both the contemplative and active recreational needs of park users, making them unique features that almost everyone can use and benefit from. 

As the centerpiece or destination point of serene settings in public parks, labyrinths are quiet oases where people can pause, step out of the frenetic pace of life, and take time to rejuvenate. While labyrinths may be new developments in modern parks, the need for contemplative spaces in community parks is well-established. People have always visited parks for rest, renewal, and introspection, but restorative environments are needed today more than ever before. Labyrinths are both contemplative tools and restorative environments that help people respond to the complexities of modern life. As design elements, labyrinths are beautiful and intricate patterns that are aesthetically pleasing. When incorporated into public spaces they revitalize or add beauty to the surrounding area.

As a leisure activity, labyrinths are enjoyed by children and adults alike as a simple, but fun way to follow a winding path. They can also be used by organizations and groups for team-building, creativity, and problem-solving. In their most powerful applications labyrinths are attractive features in public settings that impact large scale healing and change, add aesthetic value to the surrounding area, empower the community’s intangible assets, build upon its cultural capital, stimulate economic development, attract new visitors to the area, and nourish the individuals and organizations in the communities that use them