December 23, 2008

Wayback: Patio de los Naranjos

A year plus a few days ago plus a few days I was in Spain visiting Madrid, Caceres, Sevilla, and Cordoba. In Sevilla and Cordoba I walked through Orange Courtyards or Patios de los Naranjos. In Cordoba, the courtyard was located in the Mezquita which was constructed under Abd ar-Rahman I, Abd ar-Rahman II, and Al-Hakam II (Brigitte Hintzen-Bohlen, Art & Architecture in Andalusia, 2006).

The Orange Courtyard attached to the Sevillan church Cathedral of Santa Maria (above) is evidence of "an Almohadic mosque destroyed in 1424," according to Hintzen-Bohlen. She also describes the Orange Courtyard in the Mezquita as follows:

Cypress, laurel, and olive trees as well as fountains that worshipers used for ritual purification before prayer once stood in this wide courtyard ringed with arcades. The orange trees were planted later on by the Christians, who also had the mosque's 19 arcades walled up, drastically changing the interior lighting. In Moorish time, scholars sat under the arcades and gave lectures, doctors gave medical advice and administered qadi law. Today, remains of the mosque's old Moorish wood ceiling can still be seen here. When worshipers wanted to go in to pray, they would go through the Puerta de las Palmas (Palm Gate) which led directly into the main nave and the oldest part of the mosque (446).

1 comment:

  1. Oh man, I love Sevilla. When were you there? So beautiful. First and last time I ever ate snails, the locals sent them out to us on an obvious dare - and we polished them off, they were delicious!

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