Bamyan Buddhas and the Buddha Eden Garden in Portugal

A visit to the garden

About the founder

Joe Berardo (José Manuel Rodrigues Berardo) is a Portuguese business man, born in Madeira Islands in 1944. He worked hard to make his fortune (the second one in Portugal) after he emigrated to South Africa and nowadays he has interests and businesses all over the world.

He always loved art and invested on it. Now he has a lot of valuable collections and some of them can be visited online on The Berardo Collection site, where you can also read about his life and passions.

Because of his interest in arts and culture, he was shocked when in 2001, the Talian government destroyed the Giant Bamyan Buddhas. considering them "idols" what is forbidden under Sharia law.

Those Buddhas were sculpted in the rocks of the valley of Bamyan in central Afghanistan and they were always been a cultural and spiritual reference being considered World Heritage by UNESCO.

Comendador Berardo decided than to create an Oriental Garden in honor of the lost Buddhas, in a propriety he owns, called Quinta dos Loridos. This is a place where people can enjoy a peaceful and beautiful environment, where they can not only rest but also meditate about world and humanitary issues.That is also the reason why the Buddha Eden is also called Garden of Peace.

"This is a non-profit cultural institution in the service of the national and international community, whose mission is to sensitize the visitor to self-consciousness through this garden in dialogue with a vast sculptural heritage, predisposed for meditation and the promotion of social and cultural interaction, as the principles of solidarity and human dignity"

A Photo gallery

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About the Bamiyan Buddhas

The rock-cut Buddha sculptures in the Bamiyan Valley of central Afghanistan dating from 6th-7th century were considered the largest in the world and classified as world cultural heritage by Unesco.
Bamiyan was an important location on the Silk Route, ancient trade routes that connected the East to the West. Many of the ancient missionaries and merchants that crossed the region were practitioners of the Buddhist faith and we can still find nearly 1000 Buddhist caves carved along the cliff face, against which the two monumental Buddha images were carved.

The two large Buddha images were influenced by the art and cultures of India, Central Asia and even ancient Greek culture. The earliest reference is an insightful description by Xuanzang (c. 602–664), a Chinese Buddhist monk, scholar and traveller.
It seems that both images were covered in pigments of various hues so that they appeared to be made of metal and other materials. The monumental Buddhas’ faces were constructed of masks made of wood covered by a thin layer of brass.

Mullah Omar ordered Taliban forces to demolish the Bamiyan Buddhas in 2001 and only outlines of the figures and a few details remain.
This act was due to the extreme iconoclastic campaign claiming that destroying the Buddha sculptures was an Islamic act as Bamiyan had become predominantly Muslim. It was also an action against western interest to protecting the images while bringing humanitarian aid in the region.

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Comments 1 comment

Tsunamy 6 years ago

Check is out this Joe Berardo news in www.joeberardo.com

Thanks.

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