Imagining Islamic Aesthetics #12 – Islamic Gardens

Imagining Islamic Aesthetic for this edition will focus on Islamic Gardens ; a special topic to yours truly because I have love for greenery and gardens.

Gardens are quite an essential part of Islamic Architecture ; this fact is true in the more drier parts of the Islamic empire like in the sub-saharan region. The focal points of the Islamic gardens are shades and water, particularly and understandably due to the fact that Islam rose and mostly spread to the dried places on earth. The design mostly consists of a central fountain with four canals carrying water to that fountain. There is always exceptions, however, and I would like to point out these exceptions as we go along.

Author - Loizeitung

The Gardens of Generalife in Alhambra, Granada. The gardens are beautified with multiple spouting fountains along a canal. Unlike the description of a typical Islamic garden that I have mentioned above, this particular garden have just one canal in the center of the garden and no fountain in the middle. Instead, spouting fountains line the canal.

Shalimar Gardens in Kashmir, India. The pavilion is surrounded by a pool with dozens of spout fountains, set in a lush garden. It is one of the finest example of Mughal gardens, and now  made a public park.

Author - User:Zereshk

The gardens of the Narenjestan e Ghavam, or the Qavam House, in Shiraz, Iran. It was built in the late 1800s by Mirza Ibrahim Khan. The fountains and the water feature are irregular, and obviously not in operative state, but still remains a pristine example of a Persian garden. The lush, beautiful beds of flowers and the meticulous trees lining the walkway defines the beauty of the garden.

author - Néfermaât

The gardens of The Grand Mosque of Paris, Paris, France. The mosque is heavily influenced by the architecture of sub-saharan mosques, and features the same decorative elements such as Zillij tiling. The gardens of the mosque have lush trees and shrubs, and multiple water features such as pools and fountains. You can see here in the picture two types of fountains employed by this garden – a spout ,tiered fountain and a fountain decorated with Zillij tiling set on a wall.

Author - comakut

The Courtyard of the Lions, Alhambra, Granada, Spain. More of a courtyard than a garden, but it is a fine example of the description of a typical Islamic garden I mentioned above. There is fountains on the end of each water canal, leads to the central fountain of the courtyard, a basin that is held aloft by a group of lion sculptures – a unique representation in Islamic art.


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