Generalife: Pond with a fountain at center of the Patio de la Sultana

Pond with a fountain in the Patio de la Sultana (Sultana's Court) in the Generalife, Granada, Spain

Pond with a fountain in the Patio de la Sultana (Sultana’s Court)

Pond with a fountain in the Patio de la Sultana (Sultana’s Court)
The image shows a pond located in the middle of the the Patio de la Sultana (Sultana’s Court), which belongs to the summer palace of the Nasrids situated in the Generalife, Granada, Spain.

At the center of the pond is a basin made of stone with a fountain. Behind the pond is the trunk of a dried-up cypress tree and next to it is a small plaque embedded in the wall. A popular legend, known as the Legend of the Abencerrajes, is centered around this cypress tree and the plaque describes the core of the legend. Because of this legend, the court is also known as the Patio del Ciprés de la Sultana (Sultana’s Cypress Tree Court),

According to the legend, Morayma (Maryam bint Ibrahim al-’Attarthe), the wife of Muhammad XII (known as Boabdil, the last Sultan of Granada), had an affair with a knight belonging to the Abencerrajes, a warrior clan fiercely loyal to the Nasrids. The lovers used to meet underneath the shade of the cypress tree in the moonlight.

A courtier eventually discovered their secret and revealed it to the Nasrids. Enraged by the affair, Boabdil ordered the killing of the members of the Abencerrajes clan. He invited them for a meeting at his palace. The unsuspecting members accepted the invitation and gathered in a hall. While they were waiting for the king, his guards closed the doors of the hall and assassinated as many as 30 of them.

Although there is no historical or archaeological evidence to prove that this event ever took place, the fascinating story of romance and the palace intrigue has caught the imagination of people and helped to keep the mystique of the Alhambra alive.

The hall where the alleged killings took place became known as Sala de los Abencerrajes (Hall of the Abencerrajes), which is a part of the Palace of Lions in the Nasrid Palaces located in the Alhambra.

The Patio de la Sultana is adjacent to the Patio de la Acequia (Court of the Irrigation Canal).

Related Images
Patio de la Sultana – A view of the Sultana’s Court from the south side
Cypress Tree of the Abencerrajes Legend Fame in the Patio de la Sultana
Plaque describing the Abencerrajes Legend in the Patio de la Sultana
Sala de los Abencerrajes (Hall of the Abencerrajes) – A hall belonging to the Nasrid Palaces in the Alhambra
Palacio de los Abencerrajes – Abencerrajes Palace in the Medina

Related Pages
Generalife – Heavenly Gardens of the Nasrids
Palacios Nazaríes – Nasrid Palaces – A Shining Example of Moorish Art and Architecture
Los Jardines del Partal – The Gardens of the Partal
Alcazaba – A Formidable Fortress of the Nasrids
Medina, the Bustling City
Alhambra – Christian-Era Monuments
Alhambra – Outer Monuments

Copyright © 2020 by Lawrence Rodrigues. All rights reserved.

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