Universities can be fairly stressful places. Their campuses are packed with students worrying about classes and exams, plus faculty members pondering their own lesson plans. But tucked away in a secluded garden, practically hidden from sight, is a small sliver of calm—for those who know where to look.
Head to the courtyard near Andover Hall, which houses the Harvard Divinity School, and you’ll find a small labyrinth waiting to be walked. It was constructed to be a small sanctuary; a place where those looking to clear their minds could take a contemplative walk.
According to the plaque near the labyrinth, walking serves as a form of pilgrimage. The way to the center follows the longest possible route, giving walkers ample time to connect with their thoughts. And because there’s only one possible route—it isn’t a maze—the journey is something that cannot be rushed.
Its design isn’t entirely unique. In fact, the Harvard labyrinth was based off the design of the 13th-century labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral. And like its French inspiration, the Cambridge labyrinth is also sometimes partially obscured by chairs.