12th Century Garden in the Casas de Contratacion in the Alcathar, Seville

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My research paper will focus on the 12th century garden in the Alcathar in Seville. This garden courtyard is a square space intersected by walkways that divide the gardens into four quadrants. This design can also be found in previous Islamic gardens such as at the Alhambra and Madinat al-Zahra. My paper will trace this design through these three gardens starting with the Upper Garden at Madinat al-Zahra, moving to the Alhambra and then to the 12th century garden built by the Almoravids/Almohads. My paper will also explore the use of water in these gardens and in Islamic gardens in general.


Ruggles, D. Fairchild. “The Gardens of the Alhambra and the Concept of the Garden in Islamic Spain.” In Al-Andalus: The Art of Islamic, edited by Jerrilynn D. Dodds, 163-71. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1992.

Ruggles, D. Fairchild. “Palaces of the Eleventh and Twelfth Century” and “Illusion and Paradise.” In Gardens, Landscape, and Vision in the Palaces of Islamic Spain, 141-147, 209-222. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2000.

Ruggles, D. Fairchild. “The Alcazar of Seville and Mudejar Architecture.” Gesta, 43, 2, The University of Chicago Press, 2004.