40 Aniversario Declaración Patrimonio Humanidad 40 Aniversario + info
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Patio de los Naranjos

The former Caliphate courtyard of ablutions would give way to the Christian courtyard, so its functions have been very different in the various historical stages of the building. After originally being the site of ablutions, or in other words, the ritual purification prior to Muslim prayer, it became one of the essential areas in the Cathedral for Catholic ceremony, witnessing the greatest solemnities.

However, this disparity is found not only in its functions, but also in its forms. For example, while in the Caliphate era the north façade was open to the courtyard, after the Christian conquest, with the construction of the chapels, it began to be enclosed.

Opinion is divided if we take into account the presence of the galleries that define this space. Thus, while some sources dated back to 1236 allude to "the cloister of Saint Mary", the testimony of Ambrosio de Morales talks about the absence of porches in the Muslim period. Regardless, what we do know is that the three galleries were rebuilt during the episcopate of Martín Fernández de Angulo (1510-1516), commissioned from the architect Hernán Ruiz I.

We can also be absolutely certain in saying that its current name and appearance are the result of the work undertaken by Bishop Francisco Reinoso (1597-1601), who suggested that the space be used as a garden. Orange trees, palms and cypresses are planted in rows, as if they were the outward continuation of the columns found in the prayer hall. Water also has its place in this unique space, with the presence of the dispensers and fountains of Saint Mary and of the cinnamon.

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