The Horti Leonini in San Quirico d’Orcia: every beginning is an ending

The Horti Leonini in San Quirico d’Orcia, Tuscany, are home to a sculpture representing the head of Janus Bifrons, the Roman god of passages, from homes’ thresholds to pivotal moments in history.

In the late 16th-century park, the statue dedicated to the ancient pagan deity is placed at the border between the “wild” area and the well-groomed, geometric side of the garden, to mark the change in aesthetic perspective.

The Horti Leonini themselves were created during a time of change for the whole town. A few years earlier, the Republic of Siena had lost its freedom and become a Florentine feud. The beautiful park was created by will of Diomede Leoni, whom it is named after, and thanks to funding by the Grand Duke of Tuscany Francesco de’ Medici, as part of a broader renovation of San Quirico d’Orcia after the damage caused by the war between Siena and Florence.

According to Roman mythology, Janus had two faces so he could look at each transition both as a beginning and as an ending. In this case, 1555 was the end of independence for Siena, but the premise for a beautiful garden that would last centuries.

And a stroll in the Horti Leonini can still inspire you to change, finish something, or embark on a new adventure… under the tutelage of Janus.

Photos via:
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/78805316
http://www.juzaphoto.com/galleria.php?t=113037&l=it
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4443441983
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/10524849186

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The Horti Leonini in San Quirico d’Orcia: every beginning is an ending

San Quirico d'Orcia (Si)
Piazza della Libertà
+39 0577 897506

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