The large reclining Buddha of the garden
Just 15 minutes from Óbidos and about one hour from Lisbon, in the Quinta dos Loridos estate, you find Europe’s largest Asian garden and the continent’s largest collection of Buddhist statues. They’re scattered around 35 hectares (86 acres) of land, and were ordered by Portuguese businessman Joe Berardo (who has a modern art museum in Lisbon) in 2001. Berardo was shocked by the destruction of monumental Buddhist statues in Afghanistan by the Taliban, and decided to create a garden of peace and meditation in Portugal. It wasn’t done for religious purposes, and is open to anyone.
The garden has Europe's largest collection of Buddhist statues
In addition to marble and granite buddhas of different sizes, there are pagodas and terracotta statues, but the highlight is a staircase leading to a huge golden Buddha.
Nearby is a Japanese-style lake, with fish and sculpted dragons rising out of the water.
Also noteworthy are the 600 hand-painted terracotta soldiers, unique copies of the “terracotta army” buried in China some 2,200 years ago.
The central Japanese-style lake of the garden
Around the natural fields and landscaped gardens you’re also surprised by contemporary art from renowned international artists, like Botero, Tony Cragg, Alexander Calder, Allen Jones, and Joana Vasconcelos, among many others. Pieces are replaced on a regular basis, guaranteeing that repeat visitors will always find something new.
Part of the garden's Terracota Army
There’s also an outstanding African Art Garden, showing over 200 carefully-placed works from different African countries hidden around the vegetation.
In addition to being an enchanting eden, this is therefore also a unique open-air gallery.
Buddha Eden is Europe’s largest Asian garden
By the entrance and exit you find a shop (where you can buy the estate’s wines) and a restaurant. For an extra charge, you may be taken around the garden on a small train.
How to Get to Buddha Eden Garden
From Lisbon, take the A8 highway, and on exit 12 (heading in the direction of Carvalhal) turn left. At the roundabout, take the second exit and follow the signs to Buddha Eden or Quinta dos Loridos.
Admission and Tickets to Buddha Eden Garden
Adults pay €5; children under 12 are free. Tickets for the train that goes around the garden are €4.
It opens every day from 9:30am to 6:00pm (gate closes at 5:30pm), except on December 25th and January 1st.