Hidden treasures

The mystical garden in the convent of the Discalced Carmelites

Unknown places & works

The mystical garden in the convent of the Discalced Carmelites

Near the busy train station n Venice there is a place where peace and silence reign: the mystical garden of the Discalced Carmelites of the church of Santa Maria di Nazareth.

The Carmelites arrived here in the 1600s and, in the vicinity of their convent, they always had a vegetable garden where, in addition to the products used for their meals, they also cultivated medicinal herbs, including the famous Melissa.

In 2014 the old vegetable garden was completely renovated and transformed into a mystical garden, an intimate and secluded place, where the beauty of nature meets man's industriousness and spirituality.

The garden is divided into seven plant beds, which represent the seven mansions of the Interior Castle of Santa Teresa d'Avila, Santa Carmelitana. Every plant bed evokes, in fact, a theme dear to the spirituality of the Spanish saint: the fullness of life is associated with the grassy lawn; the garden of simples, where medicinal herbs are grown and then used to purify the body, is linked to the mystical meaning of the purification of love. The vegetable plot, in the third plant bed, expresses the synergy between mankind and nature and how life is nourished by the earth. The vineyard recalls the Eucharistic wine, in which Christ makes himself truly present, as well as the evangelical image of the profound communion of life between Jesus-the vine- and the disciples-the shoots. The orchard represents the generosity of the earth, recalling the kindness of the Creator and urging us to heed Jesus’ call to the rich young man – mentioned by Santa Teresa in the third mansion of the Castle - to abandon everything for the highest Good. In the last two plant beds, the olive garden recalls the friendship of Jesus with the apostles and with every man, while the bower of trees, comprised of trees that recall the passion of Jesus, alludes to the merciful call to enter the inner castle of our own existence.

The Mystical Garden of the Carmelites is open every day from 9.00 to 17.00 and can be included in an original private tour of Venice dedicated to the discovery of the hidden gardens of the historic center!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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