Destination California: Queen Califia’s Magic Circle

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ESCONDIDO, Calif. (KTLA) – Sculpture masterpieces are usually found indoors – housed and protected in an important museum.

However, there’s a large, one-of-a-kind sculptural artwork designed to be enjoyed outdoors in Southern California.

A mirrored maze leads visitors inside a 4-foot circular “snake wall.”

We were invited to touch the tens of thousands of individually hand-cut glass, ceramic, and stone mosaics.

It’s the only American sculpture garden created by artist Niki de Saint Phalle.

It salutes Queen Califia, the source of California’s name.

The internationally-renowned self-taught artist is famous for creating monumental-scale sculpture gardens.

This one in Tuscany, Italy – The Tarot Garden – she considered her life’s work.

It has a connection to the Escondido assemblage.

Niki de Saint Phalle died May 21, 2002, before seeing the completion of her magical garden, which opened to the public in 2003.

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