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Bok Tower and Gardens


Bok Tower Gardens has offered some of Floridas most remarkable experiences to more than 23 million visitors since 1929. Through its historic landscape gardens, unique Singing Tower carillon and magnificent 1930s Mediterranean-style mansion, the Gardens offer unparalleled opportunities for artistic, cultural, personal and spiritual enrichment.

When Bok Tower Gardens founder Edward W. Bok immigrated to America from Den Helder, Netherlands at age six, he did not understand the language, customs or culture. Through determination and hard work, he became a highly successful publisher, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, respected humanitarian and an advocate of world peace and the environment. Boks grandmother told him to make you the world a bit better or more beautiful because you have lived in it, which he did throughout his lifetime and it still guides our mission to this day.




During visits from their Pennsylvania residence to their winter retreat near Lake Wales, Florida, Mr. Bok became enchanted with the beauty and vistas from nearby Iron Mountain. At 324 feet above sea level, peninsular Floridas highest point, Iron Mountain offered views of dramatic sunsets. Awed by the tranquility of the area, he wanted to create a place that would touch the soul with its beauty and quiet, and chose it as the perfect setting for a bird sanctuary. He purchased land to transform into a sweeping landscape of lush gardens featuring a majestic Singing Tower housing a 60-bell carillon. Originally called Mountain Lake Sanctuary and Singing Tower, he presented this extraordinary gift to the American people Feb. 1, 1929 as an enduring token of his appreciation for the opportunities he had been given.
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