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Orange Trees

The Patio of the Orange Trees is where the visitor normally exits the Cathedral. You can also enter the building from Alemanes street through the Puerta del Perdón into the Patio de Los Naranjos. You will find there a visigoth founting of the 5th century BC. Orange trees cover the whole courtyard joined by little canals for irrigation on the brick pavement. The walls surrounding it have handmade engravings with more than 880 sentences of the Coran in Arabic.


Its main bronze door, the “Puerta del Perdón” is an original part of the former Muslim mosque. Its exquisitely carved handles have become the inspiration for pieces of jewelry sold in the shops on the Calle Sierpes.


The courtyard, maintains its original Muslim aesthetic, with orange trees whose sweet-smelling blossoms enticed the faithful to enter to pray. The channels of water, trees and fountains were a recreation of the elements of a paradise garden so frequent in Arabic religious and secular architecture.


The large marble fountain in the center of the courtyard was taken from the ancient Visigoth basilica which previously occupied this site and was used by the Muslims for their ablutions before entering the mosque to pray.


The faithful were called to prayer by the “muezzin” from atop the minaret. They would symbolically touch the orifices of their head with water from the fountain, in a ritual cleansing similar to a Catholic’s confession before receiving communion. The walls surrounding this courtyard are the original Arabic structures containing handmade engravings with words from the Koran.


The arches leading out to the Calle Alemanes were originally open to the fresh breezes of Andalucia, enhancing the garden effect of the courtyard. They were closed in when the Cathedral was built and now are referred to as “Blind Arches”.


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Source: www.isnare.com