“Utopia: an imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect.” — Oxford Languages
New Harmony, Indiana was originally established in 1825 by Robert Owen as a Utopian community where education and social equality would flourish. It dissolved two years later. Indianamuseum.org It’s historical charm makes it a popular destination for conferences and retreats — and a fun little place for handstands! Here are a few of the highlights.
The Atheneum: What’s kind of unusual about the Atheneum (besides its name) is that it’s an example of modern architecture — while New Harmony itself is more 19th century history. It’s an interesting contrast that works. The Atheneum was built in 1979 and serves as the community visitor center/museum.
The Roofless Church: Lots of weddings take place at the roofless church. While the structure behind me in the handstand photo has a roof covering a statue, it’s only part of the roofless church. The roofless church itself is an open park surrounded by a wall with a beautiful gilded and adorned gate at the entrance. Wikipedia
The Labyrinths: The Cathedral Labyrinth is flat with a beautiful geometric pattern and offers the opportunity to walk and meditate on an ancient single path. Visitnewharmony.com The Harmonist Labyrinth is more like a maze with paths between shrubbery leading to a stone Rappite temple. You can wind your way along the paths to reach the center, or skip the challenge and simply pass through gates.
There are plenty of shops, sculptures, gardens and even log cabins to see in this southern Indiana town. Definitely worth the trip if you’re in the area!
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