In Santa Lucia, right on the outskirts of this Southern Mediterranean city, you can suddenly find a piece of Asia – the Chinese Garden of Serenity. This place is perfect to come and have some rest, put your thoughts in order and find some peace. For this purpose it was actually created. Oriental decorations of the Garden serve both to reflect the local atmosphere and to bring some air of Eastern philosophical ideas.
«Ġnien is-Serenità», as locals call it, was opened in summer of 1997. Its construction took less than a year, but results were awesome. Architecture and the general concept of the Garden with its Asian style and oriental symbols were really unexpected for Malta, the island which has been much devoted to Christianity for ages. So the news about little China being constructed on Malta quickly spread around the island. The opening was held by the Prime Minister of the island, Dr. Alfred Sant.
The composition of the Garden is represented by rocks and water which flows through them. These two constituents represent a symbol of nature basis, all that gives life, the yin and yang, the beginning and the end. Nature’s hills and valleys are shown with rocks, and spirit of the world is shown with water streams. All the flows of water in the Garden can be compared to blood running through the veins. The water reflects everything that is active, and the rocks reflect everything that is calm and stable.
Walking around the garden you would see numerous decorations in support of this philosophy: fountains and flows with bridges and corridors, which remind the zig-zag labyrinths, specific doors, and apertures. Each doorway has its own meaning and purpose. Being there and observing the objects you begin to understand what architects wanted to say when they constructed the Garden’s parts in this or that way. For example, the zig-zag bridge illustrates the difficulties we have in our lives. In general, whatever subject you see there, you will find a deep sense and message which was put in it. Some of the meanings are not that obvious and require reflecting on them.
The Garden itself is not that large. Actually, you may say that it consists of several separated gardens divided into different spaces with walls and corridors. First of all, this was made to reflect that people’s thoughts are separated from each other, and also to let the visitors feel in privacy with their own mind and experience their unity with environment.You can also find there number of rooms for visitors where they could stay alone, have a rest and focus on their thoughts. And those rooms bring their own ideas too. But it is better to come and see it.
The Chinese Garden of Serenity is like a place of pilgrimage for those who want to disclose philosophical nature of their souls and need personal reloading. Even if you are not that spiritual and just wish to read a book or reset yourself from sightseeing, Mediterranean beach time or Maltese nightlife, you are more than welcome to the Garden of Serenity.