Las Pozas, the Xilitla jungle enchanted garden in Mexico

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This is the story of a surreal delirium, born from the will of an eccentric millionaire of other times. The attempt of a frustrated artist to raise, in an exuberant corner of the rain-forest in Mexico, what his creativity and wallet would enable him.

The result was a complex almost forgotten for the history of art, a sculptural fantasy straight out of the impossible Escher designs, the decaying remains of a lost civilization or the abandoned sets of a science fiction film.

Las Pozas of Xilitla was the personal paradise of Edward James, a charismatic character straddling his beginnings as patron of artists such as Dalí and René Magritte, to the old shaman in a tropical retreat, playing to build his amazing dream:

Concrete magic jungle
Concrete jungle. Stairs to nowhere, columns supporting the sky, doors without walls, bridges leading to the abyss... The garden is a quirky puzzle full of symbolism. Image Christophe Morisset

Xilitla Edward James
Lush landscape. Columns and architectural elements merge between pools and waterfalls, offering a magnificent scenic and theatrical aspect. Image Rene De la Garza and Rosa Menkman

Las Pozas Xilitla
Science Fiction in the Sierra Huasteca. From the Planet of the Apes to Star Wars.
Image Rene De la Garza

Magical Mexico
Magical Mexico. Some parts have an oriental touch. Xilitla shows a cement-ish look like the Buddha Park in Laos that we visited here. Image Olivia Vivanco

La Pozas Edward James
Organic dreamlike. Flowers of concrete between the lush jungle claiming its space back.
Image Rosa Menkman

Surrealist ruins in the jungle
Bohemia and surrealism. The passage of time has covered the site with an interesting and mysterious darker hue. Image Rosa Menkman

Garden Xilitla
Vertiginous stairs. Not suitable for psychedelic travelers.
Image Lee and Rod Waddington

Las Pozas Mexico
The joy of knowing herself alive. The photographer Carlos Adampol says that Edward James built a sarcophagus to "sit back and enjoy death", because when he would die he would not have time to enjoy it. Hidden in the jungle of Xilitla, the sarcophagus is a place of peace and beauty.

Xilitla Castillo
Playing at being an artist. The Brit was aware that he had no idea of architecture or engineering, so tended to reinforce the structures over the account. Still, they seem to hold in a fragile balance. Image Carlos Adampol

Garden Edward James
Bringing beauty to the world. Beauty is the ultimate goal of the buildings, which have no other purpose than providing shelter for the individual and collective dreams of all the people, visitors and residents who have been here. Image Eduardo Gutierrez

The pool and waterfalls
100 acres of utopia. The monument was developed between 1962 and 1984, the year of Edward's death.
Image Rod Waddington

La reproduction interdite
Illustrious friends. Edward James with his poncho in the 70s, and in the painting La reproduction interdite, of René Magritte, 1937.

Empire of the Sun We Are The People filming location
Stage for video clips. Several artists like Empire of the Sun (video We Are The People), have been filming here their choreographies. Image extracted from a cheesy video of Nicole Scherzinger.

Entrance towers
"Look, we move among a bunch of 'pseudo-realists', who.... produce nothing but junk. So, they try to act like madmen to justify themselves. On the other hand, you who are real, labor to act sane.....". Salvador Dalí to Edward James. Image Guillermo Flores

  1. Great photos! Enchanting indeed. Beautiful.


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