One could easily miss Tu Viện A Nan. In fact, many long-time locals aren’t even aware of its existence. Peacefully nestled amongst both natural woods and manicured gardens, this Buddhist temple and statue park in Gainesville, Florida, is open to everyone, regardless of their religious or spiritual background.
The park was established in 2010, and is home to four large-scale statues, the tallest standing nearly 50 feet tall. These statues were hand-crafted in Vietnam and carefully delivered to Gainesville.
Three of the large statues were installed in 2017, including a 28-foot-tall sitting Buddha, a symbol of enlightenment, and a 33-foot-long statue of a sleeping Buddha. At the center of the park is a 45-foot-tall statue of Avalokitesvara, a bodhisattva who embodies compassion. A fourth statue was installed in 2019, which depicts the Buddha as a young man atop a solid granite globe.
There are also smaller statues and altars scattered throughout this forested park. Benches and sitting areas provide opportunities for peaceful reflection and meditation.
Know Before You Go
The statue park is free and open to the public. There is a small parking lot on site. Visitors are welcome into the sanctuary so long as there is not an event.