the 45th Parallel

The Mountain

From the street, this ramshackle pile of rock is the first thing to greet a visitor. At first it might appear to be a crudely built stone wall, aside from its off-center entryway.

But from the side, there is something unusual here. Granite posts block entry to a set of steps leading up to a rock carving of a snake. Wippich called this the "Seven Steps to Hell", which may explain why the top step leads only to a drop down the the middle level and a narrow shaft into the rugged labyrinth in the bottom of the structure.

The carving of the snake is one of the few figurative stone pieces in the entire garden. Whether it was carved for Wippich, is a salvaged decoration from an old building, or is a rejected tombstone fragment is not clear.

To the right of the Mountain, a small staircase descends to the sunken garden and Greek Temple. To the left, a low passageway and staircase through the mountain leads down to the lily pond.

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