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The setting of the Buddhist temple. SUR
Memorial garden and Buddhist temple: This is what the Costa del Sol's striking new Chinese garden will look like
Planning

Memorial garden and Buddhist temple: This is what the Costa del Sol's striking new Chinese garden will look like

Benalmádena town hall has thrown its 'unquestionable support' behind the privately funded six-million-euro project which could be a reality in just four years

Lorena Cádiz

Benalmádena

Monday, 1 July 2024

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A new Chinese park on the drawing board for Benalmádena could occupy 24,000 square metres of land and cost six million euros to build.

The park, which sources said already has the "unquestionable support" of town hall, will be called Gran Parque de la Amistad (Great Park of Friendship) and be located next to the international cemetery, also bordering the bullring and Avenida Juan Luis Peralta.

The pagoda on the upper part of the land where the Chinese park will be located. SUR

Chinese investors will finance the project, which is earmarked for public land and the town hall and investors are negotiating a 50-year lease. An environmental impact study and the usual planning requirements will need to be carried out in order to obtain a building permit, with the project set to become a reality in just four years.

Location of land. SUR

Once built, the aim is to establish a park that will be "a calling point for the traditional image of China", said Jesús Majada, vice-president of the Spanish-Chinese association and who is acting as an intermediary in the project between town hall and the investors.

There will be a Buddhist temple at the centre of the park consisting of several buildings. In this area, there will be a monastery and a space for meditation.

A path of perfection

The gardens will be key to the whole project: they will be scattered throughout the entire plot and will even extend into the buildings. Vegetation, rock and water are the three key elements in a Chinese garden. As the park is situated on a slope, the garden will start at the lowest part and symbolise a path of perfection, eventually laid out towards the garden's highest point, where a pagoda will be built.

Beside the pagoda will be a memorial garden, a space in which the urns containing the ashes of the deceased will be buried in a traditional Chinese style. "The relationship with their ancestors is very important to the Chinese. Every spring they celebrate a festival lasting several days where they visit the place where the remains of their deceased are buried. There is no memorial garden in Europe, even though there are three million Chinese living there and not all of them can afford to go to China every year," Majada said.

The idea is the new park in Benalmádena will become a calling point for the entire Chinese population in Europe and it will be incorporated into the map of the route taken by Chinese tourists when they come to Spain. "Today they fly to Lisbon, enter through Extremadura, visit Seville, Ronda, Granada, Cordoba, Toledo, Madrid, Barcelona and return to Beijing. With this park, the aim is that one day they will stop in Benalmádena," Majada added.

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