Tag Archives: Sevilla

Maria Luisa Park in Sevilla: the Garden of the Lions

Maria Luisa, Infanta of Spain (1832-1897) was the younger sister of Isabella II, queen of Spain. She married Antoine, Duke of Montpensier, youngest son of the French King Louis Philippe, and became Duchess of Montpensier.

Most of the grounds that form Maria Luisa Park today where originally part of the Palace of San Telmo and donated by Maria Luisa to the city in 1893 to be used as public gardens. The palace , a magnificent example of Spanish baroque architecture was rehabilitated and converted in the 1990s into the seat of the autonomous government of Andalusia. It stands today just outside Maria Luisa Park.

French urban planner and landscape designer Jean Claude Nicolas Forestier, who also created the Bagatelle Rose Garden and the Laribal Gardens in Barcelona, started work on the park in 1911. Also in preparation of the 1929 World’s Fair, architect Anibal Gonzales began work on the Plaza de Espana building and some of the pavilions.

Under Forestier, who had been heavily influenced by the gardens of Andalusia and Morocco, the Park became a Moorish inspired extravaganza of tiled fountains, ponds, arbors, pavillions and other structures, planted in a lush Mediterranean style with vines, bougainvilleas, roses, palms orange trees and flower beds.

I discovered Forestier’s work when in Barcelona, visiting the stunning terraced Laribal Gardens on the hill of Montjuic.  These gardens lead from fountains to gazebos to arbors to rose gardens to the top of the hill where you discover the sweeping views down the hill with water stairs inspired by the Alhambra leading back down. This element of surprise and wonder is one I have found in all of Forestier’s gardens, whether in Paris at Bagatelle, Morocco at the Jardins d’Essais or here.

This park being such an expansive and complex creation, I am featuring it through several posts.This first one showcases the Garden of the Lions (11) and the Fountain of the Alvarez Quintero Brothers (14) just behind it. Both are stunning in very different ways. The Fountain of the Lions features large fountains surrounded with sculptures and geometrical borders with a clear Moorish influence. The Quintero fountain is a masterpiece of tile work that ties in with the incredibly detailed allover moasaics of the Plaza de Espana at the other end of the park.

DSC01064

DSC01065

DSC01066

DSC00987 DSC00988 DSC00990 DSC00992 DSC00994 DSC00996 DSC00997 DSC00998 DSC01000 DSC01002 DSC01008 DSC01009

 

DSC01010

DSC01013 DSC01014 DSC01015 DSC01016 DSC01017 DSC01018 DSC01019 DSC01020 DSC01021 DSC01011 DSC01012

Advertisements

A Stunning Andalusian Patio at Sevilla’s Alfonso XIII

Hotel Alfonso XIII, or the Alfonso as it is often referred to, is a historic landmark building in old Seville, near the Cathedral and the Alcazar. Inaugurated in 1929, the year of the World Fair that was instrumental in bringing to Seville the Plaza de Espana and Maria Luisa Park, it is a materpiece of neo-mudejar, or neo-moorish style, architecture, with arches, tile murals and water features.  The patio is truly the heart of the hotel, with reception rooms, lounges, and the restaurant all laid out around it, and it is indeed a treat to spend a leisurely hour there having drinks or coffee there. The grounds outside are also landcaped in a distinctly Andalusian style.

DSC01203

DSC01196 DSC01202 DSC01199

DSC01200

DSC01156 DSC01161 DSC01166 DSC01167 DSC01170 DSC01171 DSC01173 DSC01174

And of course, the stunning reception rooms around the courtyard.

DSC01149

DSC01179 DSC01182 DSC01188 DSC01143

More Pebble Designs & Patio Flooring Ideas from the Courtyards of Spain

Beautiful patios can be found throughout Andalusia, influenced bytthe Moors that ruled in Southern Spain until a final defeat in 1492. Cordoba embraced this heritage in its patio tradition perhaps more than any other Spanish city and has been celebrating with its famous Patio Festival in May since 1933.

Found throughout the south of Spain is the use of intricate pebble designs not only in the patios and courtyards, but also in many public areas and city squares. I am featuring here some of the many designs I came across, in particular in Granada , Cordoba and Sevilla.

DSC09961DSC00623DSC00653DSC00685DSC00709DSC00711DSC00795DSC00864DSC00865DSC00866DSC00907DSC00969DSC01106DSC01107DSC01351DSC01352DSC01421DSC01607DSC09537DSC09538DSC09646DSC09656DSC09689DSC09692DSC09795DSC09796DSC09797

Maria Luisa Park in Sevilla: Fountain of the Frogs and Island of the Birds

Maria Luisa, Infanta of Spain (1832-1897) was the younger sister of Isabella II, queen of Spain. She married Antoine, Duke of Montpensier, youngest son of the French King Louis Philippe, and became Duchess of Montpensier.

Most of the grounds that form Maria Luisa Park today where originally part of the Palace of San Telmo and donated by Maria Luisa to the city in 1893 to be used as public gardens. The palace , a magnificent example of Spanish baroque architecture was rehabilitated and converted in the 1990s into the seat of the autonomous government of Andalusia. It stands today just outside Maria Luisa Park.

French urban planner and landscape designer Jean Claude Nicolas Forestier, who also created the Bagatelle Rose Garden and the Laribal Gardens in Barcelona, started work on the park in 1911. Also in preparation of the 1929 World’s Fair, architect Anibal Gonzales began work on the Plaza de Espana building and some of the pavilions.

Under Forestier, who had been heavily influenced by the gardens of Andalusia and Morocco, the Park became a Moorish inspired extravaganza of tiled fountains, ponds, arbors, pavillions and other structures, planted in a lush Mediterranean style with vines, bougainvilleas, roses, palms orange trees and flower beds.

I discovered Forestier’s work when in Barcelona, visiting the stunning terraced Laribal Gardens on the hill of Montjuic.  These gardens lead from fountains to gazebos to arbors to rose gardens to the top of the hill where you discover the sweeping views down the hill with water stairs inspired by the Alhambra leading back down. This element of surprise and wonder is one I have found in all of Forestier’s gardens, whether in Paris at Bagatelle, Morocco at the Jardins d’Essais or here.

This park being such an expansive and complex creation, I am featuring it through several posts.This one showcases the Fountain of the Frogs (34 on map) and the Island of the Birds (6, Island of the Ducks on the map).   The whimsical Fountain of the Frog has colorful Andalusian ceramic frogs surroundinga fountain, followed by a pond that leads the Garden of the Lions to the Isleta de los Patos, or Birds Island.  The island provides a sanctuary for the many birds inhabiting the park; its focal point is the Pavilion of King Alfonso XII, which dates back to the time it was part of the San Telmo Palace.

DSC01064

DSC01065

DSC01066


DSC01036 DSC01023 DSC01024 DSC01025 DSC01026 DSC01028 DSC01029 DSC01030

 

DSC01047 DSC01049 DSC01054 DSC01055 DSC01041 DSC01042 DSC01043 DSC01044 DSC01045 DSC01046

 

Sevilla’s Jardines de Guadalquivir: A Modern Take on Moorish Gardens

Sevilla is a truly beautiful city, and one of my favorites in Spain. It is full of historic neigborhoods, stunning architecture and monuments, but its many plazas, squares, parks, green spaces, narrow streets, and pedestrian areas make it also  very charming and people friendly.  I was visiting Sevilla off season, but the warmer Mediterranean climate still had roses and bougainvilleas blooming in December. I first visited the Maria Luisa Park, designed by one of my favorite landscape architects Jean Claude Nicholas Forrestier, then the famous Alcazar Palace and its famous gardens.

Maybe I should have visited the Jardines de Guadalquivir and the Jardin Americano (the Botanical Garden next to it) first, because I must say they were a huge let down after seeing such world class gardens.

On the river that goes through Sevilla is an island, named Isla de La Catuja after the cloistered monastery (Cartuja) that is now the Contemporary Arts Center. The island was isolated and undeveloped until the 1992 World Expo, at which time  the monastwery was converted, bridges were added, A huge research and development complex was built, as well as university schools, a stadium, an auditorium, an amusement park, theaters and concert venues, and of course, the gardens.

Jardines de Guadalquivir seemed disappointing at first also because they seemed poorly maintained and most water features weren’t running. In all fairness, it was almost winter, and while the city maintains extremely well its most visited sights, this out of the way garden must be a prime candidate for budget cuts. It may get a big spring cleaning and look lovely in the summer, but felt completely abandoned when I was there. It was almost eerie actually visiting this garden full of the forgotten monuments of the big Expo (towers and stages are still there).

Yet, after walking around the park for a bit (and I had it just about to myself as I saw two other people the entire time),  I must say I don’t regret going to see it as it must have been quite beautiful in its hay day, and you can still see the “bones” of this garden. It is actually quite an interesting design in that it takes all the traditional features of the moorish influenced gardens of Andalusia, to create a very modern and updated version of it. As I walked through, I noticed the alleys dotted with fountains, the terraced canals, the maze, the sunken garden structures, but built using definitely modern materials and lines. If you ever visit his garden, don’t miss the lovely water garden near one of the gates.

Guadalquivir Gardens (Jardines del Guadalquivir), Sevilla, Spain Guadalquivir Gardens (Jardines del Guadalquivir), Sevilla, Spain Guadalquivir Gardens (Jardines del Guadalquivir), Sevilla, Spain Guadalquivir Gardens (Jardines del Guadalquivir), Sevilla, Spain Guadalquivir Gardens (Jardines del Guadalquivir), Sevilla, Spain Guadalquivir Gardens (Jardines del Guadalquivir), Sevilla, Spain Guadalquivir Gardens (Jardines del Guadalquivir), Sevilla, Spain Guadalquivir Gardens (Jardines del Guadalquivir), Sevilla, Spain Guadalquivir Gardens (Jardines del Guadalquivir), Sevilla, Spain Guadalquivir Gardens (Jardines del Guadalquivir), Sevilla, Spain Guadalquivir Gardens (Jardines del Guadalquivir), Sevilla, Spain Guadalquivir Gardens (Jardines del Guadalquivir), Sevilla, Spain Guadalquivir Gardens (Jardines del Guadalquivir), Sevilla, Spain Guadalquivir Gardens (Jardines del Guadalquivir), Sevilla, Spain Guadalquivir Gardens (Jardines del Guadalquivir), Sevilla, Spain Guadalquivir Gardens (Jardines del Guadalquivir), Sevilla, Spain Guadalquivir Gardens (Jardines del Guadalquivir), Sevilla, Spain Guadalquivir Gardens (Jardines del Guadalquivir), Sevilla, Spain Guadalquivir Gardens (Jardines del Guadalquivir), Sevilla, Spain Guadalquivir Gardens (Jardines del Guadalquivir), Sevilla, Spain Guadalquivir Gardens (Jardines del Guadalquivir), Sevilla, Spain Guadalquivir Gardens (Jardines del Guadalquivir), Sevilla, Spain Guadalquivir Gardens (Jardines del Guadalquivir), Sevilla, Spain

Maria Luisa Park in Sevilla: the Glorieta de las Conchas and Arbors

Maria Luisa, Infanta of Spain (1832-1897) was the younger sister of Isabella II, queen of Spain. She married Antoine, Duke of Montpensier, youngest son of the French King Louis Philippe, and became Duchess of Montpensier.

Most of the grounds that form Maria Luisa Park today where originally part of the Palace of San Telmo and donated by Maria Luisa to the city in 1893 to be used as public gardens. The palace , a magnificent example of Spanish baroque architecture was rehabilitated and converted in the 1990s into the seat of the autonomous government of Andalusia. It stands today just outside Maria Luisa Park.

French urban planner and landscape designer Jean Claude Nicolas Forestier, who also created the Bagatelle Rose Garden and the Laribal Gardens in Barcelona, started work on the park in 1911. Also in preparation of the 1929 World’s Fair, architect Anibal Gonzales began work on the Plaza de Espana building and some of the pavilions.

Under Forestier, who had been heavily influenced by the gardens of Andalusia and Morocco, the Park became a Moorish inspired extravaganza of tiled fountains, ponds, arbors, pavillions and other structures, planted in a lush Mediterranean style with vines, bougainvilleas, roses, palms orange trees and flower beds.

I discovered Forestier’s work when in Barcelona, visiting the stunning terraced Laribal Gardens on the hill of Montjuic.  These gardens lead from fountains to gazebos to arbors to rose gardens to the top of the hill where you discover the sweeping views down the hill with water stairs inspired by the Alhambra leading back down. This element of surprise and wonder is one I have found in all of Forestier’s gardens, whether in Paris at Bagatelle, Morocco at the Jardins d’Essais or here.

This park being such an expansive and complex creation, I am featuring it through several posts.This first one showcases the northern section of the park. The Glorieta de las Conchas (8) features statues and planted borders arranged around a central fountain. Glorieta de Dona Sol (9) has a beautiful mosaic surrounded by hedges, and Glorieta de Ofelia Nieto (10_ is a meandering arbor covered in trumpet vines and bougainvilleas. At the end of the avenue is the Museum of Archeology (30), also built for the 1929 Exhibition.

DSC01064

DSC01065

DSC01066

DSC00952 DSC00953 DSC00954 DSC00955 DSC00956 DSC00957 DSC00958 DSC00959 DSC00960 DSC00941 DSC00942 DSC00943 DSC00944 DSC00946 DSC00947 DSC00948 DSC00950 DSC00951

DSC00962 DSC00963

DSC00965

DSC00975 DSC00976 DSC00969 DSC00970 DSC00971 DSC00974

DSC00968

DSC00938

Leading towards the Fountain of the Lions is Gurugu Mountain (15 on the map), a small mad made “mount” with an observation point and gazebo up top. This is a perfect example of Forestier’s playfulness in garden design, interjecting surprises at every turn throughout his gardens.

DSC00984 DSC00981 DSC00982

Maria Luisa Park in Sevilla: Water-lily Pool (Estanque de los Lotos)


Maria Luisa, Infanta of Spain (1832-1897) was the younger sister of Isabella II, queen of Spain. She married Antoine, Duke of Montpensier, youngest son of the French King Louis Philippe, and became Duchess of Montpensier.

Most of the grounds that form Maria Luisa Park today where originally part of the Palace of San Telmo and donated by Maria Luisa to the city in 1893 to be used as public gardens. The palace , a magnificent example of Spanish baroque architecture was rehabilitated and converted in the 1990s into the seat of the autonomous government of Andalusia. It stands today just outside Maria Luisa Park.

French urban planner and landscape designer Jean Claude Nicolas Forestier, who also created the Bagatelle Rose Garden and the Laribal Gardens in Barcelona, started work on the park in 1911. Also in preparation of the 1929 World’s Fair, architect Anibal Gonzales began work on the Plaza de Espana building and some of the pavilions.

Under Forestier, who had been heavily influenced by the gardens of Andalusia and Morocco, the Park became a Moorish inspired extravaganza of tiled fountains, ponds, arbors, pavillions and other structures, planted in a lush Mediterranean style with vines, bougainvilleas, roses, palms orange trees and flower beds.

I discovered Forestier’s work when in Barcelona, visiting the stunning terraced Laribal Gardens on the hill of Montjuic.  These gardens lead from fountains to gazebos to arbors to rose gardens to the top of the hill where you discover the sweeping views down the hill with water stairs inspired by the Alhambra leading back down. This element of surprise and wonder is one I have found in all of Forestier’s gardens, whether in Paris at Bagatelle, Morocco at the Jardins d’Essais or here.

This park being such an expansive and complex creation, I am featuring it through several posts.This last post features the Water-lily Pool (Estanque de los Lotos).

DSC01064

DSC01065

DSC01066

On the way from de Island of the Birds to the Lily Pool is the Glorieta de Juana Reina, named after a famous Spanish actress born in Sevilla in 1929.

DSC01059 DSC01063 DSC01108 DSC01109

Then at the western end of the Park, one reaches the Water-lily Pool (Estanque de los Lotos), a stunning pond bordered by arbors.

 

DSC01121 DSC01122 DSC01118 DSC01115 DSC01114 DSC01113 DSC01112 DSC01111 DSC01120 DSC01119

To the side is another pond and statuary.

DSC01116 DSC01117 DSC01110

Towards the exit gate are centennial trees.

DSC01130 DSC01128 DSC01129

An alley with a series of fountains in the Moorish style to the southern gate.

DSC01123 DSC01125 DSC01126 DSC01127