This article has been visited 3,151 times

Bonsai Museum in Marbella Municipality in Málaga Province

By Nick Nutter | 24 Jan 2018

500 Years Ago

In the year 1515 Henry VIII invested Thomas Wolsey as a Cardinal and named him Lord Chancellor of England the first Congress of Vienna took place, as did the Battle of Marignano when the French army beat the Swiss and Havana was founded in Cuba.

About this time, somewhere in Japan, a man planted the seed of a fig tree, watched it grow to a seedling, trimmed its tap root and started training the sapling as a bonsai. When he died he passed the young bonsai tree to his son. Twenty generations later that bonsai tree is flourishing and is on display at the Bonsai Museum in Marbella.

Opened in 1992 this museum has a fantastic collection, the best in Europe, of bonsai from Japan, China and Taiwan together with a wild olive collection renowned worldwide, from Acebuche in Andalucia.

Bonsai Started in China

The tradition of bonsai actually started in China about 700 AD. There it was called pun sai. The goal was to create a landscape form in miniature and they were considered sacred because the twisted forms of the trunks and branches were reminiscent of the yoga positions which were in turn reputed to re-circulate vital body fluids and be the cause of long life.

Then Spread to Japan

About one thousand years ago the tradition spread to Japan. The Japanese at this time loved anything Chinese. It was the Zen monks who, finding beauty in severe austerity, developed their landscapes so that a single tree in a pot could represent the universe. The word bonsai, which is how the Japanese pronounced pun sai, to describe these techniques came about in 1800 when a group of students of the Chinese arts met at Osaka to discuss recent styles in miniature trees. Their trees became a matter of design rather than a mythical or religious interpretation.

Back in China they developed the concept of creating a full landscape in miniature with a number of bonsai trees in large, flat trays and even on slabs of slate. This idea developed into a miniature landscape within the full size landscape, often centred round an artificial rocky stream or small waterfall.

And Marbella

The bonsai trees at the Marbella museum, however you interpret them, are things of beauty and amazement. Many flower and even grow fruit. There are examples of the ‘landscape’ form and the centre piece of the museum is an artificial waterfall and stream with bonsai trees happily growing in crevices and shallow basins.

 

We Welcome Your Comments

We'll never share your email with anyone else.

Please add together 5 + 7 =

Approved Comments

Submitted by Mrs J Monaghan on 22 Feb 2017
How do I get from Torremolinos to the Bonsai museum? I will be staying at Riu Nautilus Hotel during week 5th March to 12th March. Many thanks
Reply by Author: Its a bit complicated but if you use the interactive map on the article page you should be OK.

You may also enjoy reading .....

Puerto Banus
Puerto Banus
Ascent of the Cruz de Juanar
Cruz de Juanar
Marbella Town
The Beach at Marbella
Rosemary Walk
Rosemary Walk

Book your Holiday



Booking.com

CONTACT Us

Please prove you are human add 6 + 7 =

NEWSLETTER Subscription

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive our Newsletters

Please prove you are human add 6 + 7 =

If you liked this article you may be interested in ....

The Rock from Bottom to Top
by Nick Nutter & Julie Evans
Gibraltar - The Rock from Bottom to Top
Buy NOW on Buy The Rock from Bottom to Top on Amazon
Mr Henderson’s Railway
by Nick Nutter & Julie Evans
Mr Henderson’s Railway - Algeciras to Ronda
Buy NOW on Buy Mr Henderson's Railway on Amazon
The Road to Manilva
by Nick Nutter & Julie Evans
The Road to Manilva
Buy NOW on Buy The Road To Manilva on Amazon
The Sherry Triangle
by Nick Nutter & Julie Evans
The Sherry Triangle
Buy NOW on Buy The Sherry Triangle on Amazon