Las Pozas – Xilitla



The Surrealist Garden of Las Pozas (in Spanish ‘The Pools’) sits at more than 700 meter above sea level, in a subtropical rainforest in the mountains of Mexico. It includes more than 80 acres of natural waterfalls and pools interlaced with towering Surrealist and abstract sculptures in concrete. The Garden is situated near the village of Xilitla, San Luis Potosí, on an eight-hour drive north-east of Mexico City.

Vast sculptures, up to four stories tall, punctuate the site and the many trails throughout the garden are composed of steps, ramps, bridges and narrow, winding walkways that traverse the valley walls. The construction of Las Pozas took over thirty years and was build by English eccentric art patron Edward James. Pictured from behind below in the painting by Rene Magritte entitled, ‘Reproduction Prohibited’, he was mostly known for being a prominent patron and collector of the surrealist movement. He moved in the early 1940s from Los Angeles, California to Mexico deciding that in his words he “wanted a Garden of Eden set up . . . and I saw that Mexico was far more romantic”.


Map of Las Pozas buildings, pools and sculptures.

His primary intention was to grow orchids – the site having been chosen as it is full of wild orchids, however the unfortunate consequences of a freak winter in the Mexican jungle destroyed his vast garden and led him to the ambition to start building a permanent Garden in Concrete. In this spirit, we will continue this tradition of experimentation in concrete within and surrounding the site of Las Pozas.


6 Concrete bamboo at Las Pozas Garden


Edward James at a construction site inside the garden.