What is the symbolism of gardens in Muslim countries?
Why were they so important to them?
The garden has always had a wide symbolization since ancient times.
It has appeared linked to prosperity, wealth, or a symbol of power.
From Egypt in the year 3.000 b.C. the garden was linked to wealthy families who had gardens in their houses, around a small pond where there were fruit trees and medicinal herbs, for their use and for their funeral rituals.
In Greek times the gardens of Athens were very famous, where the teachers taught philisophy classes.
However, the oldest known garden was in Persia, the very well-known Pairi Daeza which is estimated to be 4.000 b.C. It was a closed and limited space, an Eden, a paradise.
In Iran and Irank, the famous qanats or water channels were created, often underground, with great engineering because they had the perfect slope so that the water could flow, not be atagnant and become a divine gift watering gardens and orchards.
ISLAMIC GARDENS IN AL-ANDALUS
In the Islamic world the Koranic paradise is recreated, which is a place where there is fresh water, fruit trees, and where you can eat and drik. In Spain, the courtard of orange trees of the Mosque in Cordoba could be the oldest garden existing in Al-Andalus, where there were palm tress and citrus trees as it was described in our documentary sources.
Other example is the Alcazar of Seville, it is another recreation of the Muslim garden built in the 12th century, with terraced garden platforms, very pleasant areas for walking and very cool places in the hot summer of southern Spain.
Finally, we arrive at out gardens of the Generalife of the Alhambra in Granada. Here the Muslim flavor has been very wisely maintained, mainly in the low terraces gardens, where there are places of cultivation and orchards, as there always have been in the past.
In its central area, a massif of cypresses that create a labyrinth of trees, hedges, plants, pools and fountains. And, in its final part as the culmination of a very pleasant walk, we fin the Generalife Palace.
An “almunia” or royal recreation estate palace, composed of three patios. One for the thristy animals that consists of a watering place for the horses, a second patio for the guard, and a third patio for the enjoyment of the Nasrid royal family.
This last level of the palace, the famous courtyard of the channel, has managet to unite sensory and aesthetic enjoyment, with a unique courtyard, where the water of the royal channel merges with its innumerable jets of water, with a wonderful Persian style garden, and allowing the vision of the building and its architectural part.
In the garden, aromatic herbs, fruit trees and innumerable ornamental plants are melted, recreating that mythical Quranic garden, where the visitor will be surprised and fall in love with such a beutiful 13th century Muslim Palace.
If you want to learn much more about the plants, their names, their medieval botanical uses and different properties, do no hesitate to contact us as we offer you some specialized visits on this subject.