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12 Prayer Labyrinths from Around the World

These sacred tools for prayer and meditation and can be found all around the globe.

Labyrinths have been used as a prayer tool by Christians for hundreds of years, since they emerged in churches in the twelfth century. Unlike mazes, a labyrinth’s shape has a distinct beginning and end—a path that leads towards the center, then back out again. People use labyrinths to guide their prayers or meditations as they walk, to help them with reflection and spiritual healing. Labyrinths are found all around the world, in parks, churches, hospitals, universities, and more. Here are a few of the most beautiful ones…

Labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral, France; Getty Images

1 of 12 Chartres Cathedral Labyrinth

Chartres, France

The Chartres Cathedral labyrinth is one the most famous medieval labyrinths in Europe. Its design has become the basis for labyrinths around the world.


Lavender Labyrinth; Photo credit: Cherry Point Farm & Market

2 of 12 Lavender Labyrinth

Shelby, Michigan

The Cherry Point Farm & Market added a lavender labyrinth to their property to promote healing and relaxation. Lavender itself is said to have surprising healing powers.

Labyrinth at Saint Columba Church; Photo credit: http://www.labyrinthsnz.com/auckland-grey-lynn/4560002558

3 of 12 Labyrinth at Saint Columba Church

Auckland, New Zealand

Located on the grounds of St. Columba Church, this colorful labyrinth is made of painted concrete. The colors were picked to represent the South Pacific Ocean and the reflective surface gives the illusion that you are walking on water.


Audobon Park Labyrinth; Photo credit: George Long

4 of 12 Audobon Park Labyrinths

New Orleans, Louisiana

After Hurricane Katrina, the city of New Orleans added two labyrinths to Audobon Park, each connected by a brick pathway. The labyrinths are meant to give the people of this resilient city a place to heal after tragedy.


The Edge Labyrinth; Photo credit: Morgan Mulholland

5 of 12 The Edge Labyrinth

Hogsback, South Africa

Surrounded by scenic views, this labyrinth at a spiritual retreat in South Africa is based on the Chartres Cathedral design. Couples use the labyrinth during wedding ceremonies, emerging from the center together after reciting their vows.


Harvard Divinity School Labyrinth; Photo credit: Anfurst (Atlas Obscura User)

6 of 12 Harvard Divinity School Labyrinth

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Labyrinths can be found at universities around the world, such as Ohio Wesleyan University and American University in Washington D.C. This labyrinth was added to one of Harvard’s secluded gardens to give students a space to rest, away from their studies.


Battery Park labyrinth; Photo credit: Ariane Burgess

7 of 12 Labyrinth for Contemplation

New York, New York

This labyrinth is tucked away in Battery Park, a quiet spot within the bustle of New York City. Built on the one-year anniversary of 9/11, it was constructed to give people a place of reflection and healing.

Isle of Iona Labyrinth; Photo credit: Yuriko Nakao/Getty Images

8 of 12 Isle of Iona Labyrinth

Iona, Scotland

The Isle of Iona has long been considered a “thin place,” a mystical space where the veil between Heaven and Earth is thinner. This labyrinth built from rocks was built near the ruins of a Christian monastery on the island.


Land’s End; Photo credit: Ashley Batz/Unsplash

9 of 12 Land’s End

San Francisco, California

Set up on an outcrop by the ocean with a scenic view of the Golden Gate Bridge, this labyrinth was built by artist Eduardo Aguilera. Though the labyrinth has been destroyed several times over the years, Eduardo or other volunteers will come and rebuild it – a true testament to the resilience of hope. 


Wychwood Garden and Nursery Labyrinth; Photo credit: Wychwood Garden and Nursery

10 of 12 Wychwood Garden and Nursery Labyrinth

Tasmania, Australia

On the grounds of a plant nursery in Australia is one of the continent’s first turf labyrinths (a labyrinth created by cutting the path in the grass or turf). Surrounded by a beautiful garden and foliage, walking through this labyrinth feels like walking through a fairytale.


Heart in the Park Labyrinth; Photo Credit: Ken Crowder/TravelOK.com

11 of 12 Heart in the Park Labyrinth

Tonkawa, Oklahoma

This uniquely shaped heart labyrinth isn’t just a chance to pray or meditate – it’s a chance to learn! The pathway is outlined with historical facts about the town of Tonkawa, from 1879 to the present.


St. Mary’s Hospital Labyrinth; Photo credit: M.P. King-State Journal

12 of 12 St. Mary’s Hospital Labyrinth

Madison, Wisconsin

Hospitals around the world have started installing labyrinths on their grounds. They have not only helped recovering patients in their rehabilitation, they have become places of comfort for patients’ families, caregivers, and hospital workers. This labyrinth at St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin was constructed with stone and plants.

 

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