Sunday, May 8, 2011

Queen Califia's Magical Circle

While we were in southern CA, we made a quick trip to Kit Carson Park in Escondido. Hidden in this unassuming park is a gem that I had wanted to see since I read about it in Richard's blog awhile back. I was very excited to finally have the chance to experience it myself - Queen Califia's Magical Circle.

Niki de Saint Phalle (1930-2002) created this magnificent sculpture garden inspired by California's roots and her own vivid imagination. It is unlike anything I have ever seen.

The garden is enclosed by a 400 foot long wall topped by undulating snakes which are decorated with colorful mosaics.

In addition to glass of various color, translucency and degrees of reflection, the artist also used a variety of polished and tumbled stones.

The sculptures are truly mind boggling.

I can't imagine the amount of work required to bring the artist's creations to their mosaic glory. (I understand there was a team of workers to do that.)

More of the wall. Those snakes look pretty scary.

This is Queen Califia herself riding astride her 13 foot tall, five legged eagle. Wow!

It even looks pretty cool reflected in one of the mirrors on the maze wall.

It is really an incredible feast for the eyes. I recommend it highly if you are ever in the Escondido area. Pictures just don't do it justice.

The garden is open Tuesday-Sunday - closed Mondays and rainy days. For docent tours and information, call 760-839-4691. To see the website click here.


  1. There's always more to do. Hadn't heard about that exploring. Next visit to San Diego next winter, I will have to check it out.

  2. Me too, me too!!! I wanna go there!

  3. What a fantastic place ...I can deal with mosaic snakes as long as there are no real ones slinking around.

  4. Snakes! Why does it always have to be snakes?

    I guess you better wear good sunglasses with all those bright colors.

  5. What a fun place. We will have to keep it in mind for our next trip to California.

  6. Whew! That is amazing and I've got it on my list of places to see. Thank you so much for the write-up.
    I rely on fellow bloggers to point me to the good places.

  7. Wow, that's some place! I need to put it on my list too! :-)

  8. Wish I had known about this when I visited southern time!

  9. What an amazing thing to see--I can't even imagine the work that went into creating all this great art!! SO colorful and I dearly love mosiac art-- the tumbled stones and glass make it really beautiful--