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Atlas Obscura Yangtorp Sanctuary

A Chinese meditation center appears like a mirage in the middle of the Swedish countryside. The vision comes complete with a dragon, a tea house and a temple, and depending on your perspective, it’s a retreat of sublime spirituality, or a one-man money pit.

It all began in 1998, when a Polish-born Buddhist monk named Marcus Bongart wanted to bring his form of the ancient Chinese spiritual and meditative tradition called “Qigong” to southern Sweden. Bongart, who had escaped communist Poland in the early 1970s, bought an old school in the small village of Jönstorp, with the hope of creating a retreat center for Qigong, a practice related to Tai Chi.

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