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Lose Yourself in 12 of the Most Extraordinary Labyrinths Ever Built

Step inside and try not to get lost.

Via Negativa II by artist Lee Bul, at the Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York, 2014.
Via Negativa II by artist Lee Bul, at the Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York, 2014. All Photos: Courtesy Labyrinths & Mazes by Francesca Tatarella, published by Princeton Architectural Press 2016.

In Fontanellato, near Parma, Italy, 1.85 miles of bamboo spread across 17 acres of land to create the Masone Labyrinth. If you reach the center, you’ll be greeted by a plaza with a pyramid—assuming you can navigate the maze of right-angled walls, some of which reach over 16 feet high. 

The Mason Labyrinth is one of several featured in the new book by Francesca Tatarella, Labyrinths and Mazes: A Journey Through Art, Architecture and Landscape. It includes labyrinths formed from nature—hedges, bamboo, even snow—as well as those created as art, such as Via Negative II, pictured above. Created in 2014 by artist Lee Bul, it’s labyrinth of mind-bending proportions, in which visitors walked through a maze of mirrored walls and LED lights.

So if getting lost sounds fun to you, time to get lost. Just remember: There is always at least one way out of a maze. Here are a selection of images from the book: 

Inside the Masone Labyrinth in Parma, Italy.
Inside the Masone Labyrinth in Parma, Italy.
Hampton Court Maze in Hampton Court Palace, London.
Hampton Court Maze in Hampton Court Palace, London.
3-Dimensional Labyrinth, Anyang, Korea, 2005.
3-Dimensional Labyrinth, Anyang, Korea, 2005.
Labyrinth at the C-mina art center, Genk, Belgium, 2015.
Labyrinth at the C-mina art center, Genk, Belgium, 2015.
Borges Labyrinth in Venice, Italy, inspired by Jorge Luis Borges' story "The Garden of Forking Paths". From above, the pattern spells out his last name.
Borges Labyrinth in Venice, Italy, inspired by Jorge Luis Borges’ story “The Garden of Forking Paths”. From above, the pattern spells out his last name.
The Big Maze at the National Building Museum in Washington DC, a temporary installation design by architects BIG in 2014.
The Big Maze at the National Building Museum in Washington DC, a temporary installation design by architects BIG in 2014.
Glass Labyrinth at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri.
Glass Labyrinth at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri.
An aerial view of the Horta Labyrinth, Barcelona, Spain.
An aerial view of the Horta Labyrinth, Barcelona, Spain.
Wanhua Zen Maze, Beijing's Summer Palace, 1756-59. It was subsequently rebuilt between 1977 and 1992.
Wanhua Zen Maze, Beijing’s Summer Palace, 1756-59. It was subsequently rebuilt between 1977 and 1992.
Philadelphia Labyrinth at the University of Pennsylvania's Institute of Contemporary Art, 1974.
Philadelphia Labyrinth at the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute of Contemporary Art, 1974.
Labirinto di Arianna at the Fiumara d'Arte sculpture park, Messina, Italy, 1989.
Labirinto di Arianna at the Fiumara d’Arte sculpture park, Messina, Italy, 1989.
The cover for <em>Labyrinths & Mazes</em>
The cover for Labyrinths & Mazes Courtesy Princeton University Press