The orange tree is the tree with more presence in the Real Alcázar and the city of Seville, where there are recorded 40,000 specimens. It is associated with paradise in many cultures, for Greek and Roman classics orange fruit would be the same golden apples (aurantium means 'golden') that Hercules stole from the Garden of the Hesperides.
The definitive presence of orange trees in southern Europe is linked to the arrival of the Arabs who introduced them especially for its ornamental value, given the scent of their flower, the orange blossom. Muslim kings of al-Andalus used it in the composition of courtyards where the four corners of it were sunken and in whose flowerbeds orange trees were planted, so that when passing by the high platforms they could harvest their fruits and smell their flowers more closely. Thus, the Patio of the Maidens of the Alcázar was built by King-Sultan Don Pedro following this model of Islamic garden. In the gardens of the Alcazar, close to the so called Pavilion of Charles V, there is an orange tree that according to tradition was planted by Don Pedro, 600 years ago.
The Huerta de la Alcoba del Alcázar was for a long time, a real orange grove where sun couldn’t penetrate, in the words of Venetian Andrea Navagero during his visit to the Alcazar because of the wedding of Charles V and Isabella of Portugal, in 1526. Most of the production of citrus from these orchards was exported to countries of northern Europe, mainly to England, for the preparation of jams. The identification of bitter with the city is such that the fruit in Anglophone countries is known as Seville orange.
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