Orange Tree Courtyard (Patio de los Naranjos), Cordoba Mosque. Europe’s oldest living garden, dating back over 1,200 years. Cordoba’s stunning city centre is dominated by the Mosque (or Cathedral), a UNESCO World Heritage Site and at the heart of the mosque is the beautiful Orange Tree Courtyard.
Orange Tree Courtyard (Patio de los Naranjos)
Europe’s Oldest Living Garden
Construction of the garden dates back over 1,200 years to 784AD and the rule of Abd al-Rahman the 1st (Abd al-Rahman I ibn Mu’awiya), the founder of the Umayyad Arab dynasty that ruled the greater part of Iberia for nearly three hundred years, making it generally considered the oldest continually “living” garden in Europe.
Enclosed by the walls of the mosque, the garden measures approximately 30 meters by 50 meters (100 feet by 165 feet, roughly) and is divided in to three areas, each with a functioning central fountain, designed in the Renaissance-style.
The garden is home to around 100 orange trees (hence the name), planted in neat rows, dating back to the ned of the eighteenth century, although originally, the garden contained pomegranate, cypress and palm trees.
“A beautiful nursery of Orange Trees that catches one’s view upon entering that sacred temple”, is how Fray Gregorio de Alfaro referred to the the Orange Grove of the Cathedral of Córdoba in his writings at the end of the XVI century.
The Mosque garden comprises a system of channels and gutters, taking rain water through the gardens to the base of each tree. The cobbled circles surrounding the trees takes rain water channelled from the roofs and fills each patio, until the water spills over to the next tree, keeping the trees healthy in an often very dry environment. Only surplus water is lost, as all the trees are watered before the rain disappears in to the modern drainage system.
Mezquita de Córdoba. 😍 The Catholics didn't completely destroy this one, but built their ostentatious cathedral inside and on top of the mosque instead. pic.twitter.com/fOZoBQVNTY
— Guy LeCharles Gonzalez 😷 (@glecharles) July 28, 2022
Cordoba Mosque Opening Times & Reservations & Costs
Monday to Friday and Sunday: 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Public holidays: 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Always check before booking, as opening times and prices are subject to change.
Rates General: €11
Reservations Telephone: +34 957479170
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