Orange Tree Courtyard
By Elizabeth González |
The Chinese say that possessing orange trees brings joy, but traveling to southern Spain proves that visiting them also brings joy.
ORANGE TREE A SYMBOL OF SOUTHERN SPAIN
Sometimes, when you visit a city, you forget to notice the fauna and flora that decorate the landscape. Nowadays, big cities are full of skyscrapers, so admiring them stops us from paying attention to the nature that surrounds them.
In southern Spain you’ll get the chance to find nature and history coexisting in its streets, churches, public squares and parks, because one of the region’s main inhabitants is the orange tree, which grows abundantly throughout the territory.
Citrus fruits like lemons and oranges help connect worlds because they create a link between Europe, Middle East and America. In that sense, the bitter orange finds its origin in tropical Asia, where it was cultivated and then exported to the Middle East. There, a new variety of this fruit was created, and it’s the one we’re more familiar with: the sweet orange.
It was through the Silk Road that the Arabs took orange trees to southern Spain, where the good weather favored their growth. Then they started being used with ornamental purposes, so they were found decorating halls, streets, mosques and temples.
It’s important to say that sweet orange trees arrived in Spain until the 18th century. They say that a priest created a graft of the Middle Eastern orange and when he succeeded, crops extended throughout Granada, Seville and Cordoba.
Civil and territorial wars affected orange tree crops, but they managed to recover thanks to commerce with France and the United Kingdom. Nowadays, this tree is an essential part of Spanish economy because apart from using its fruit for gastronomical purposes, they use it to produce medicines, beauty products and even pest-control substances.
ORANGE TREE HISTORY
- According to Brother Bartolomé de las Casas, Christopher Columbus transported orange, lime and lemon tree seeds to La Española and La Isabela, the first European establishments in America.
- Several agriculturists, including Abuzacaria Abenalawan, a 12th century Arab from Seville, wrote about orange tree crops.
ORANGE TREE COURTYARD IN SEVILLE
If you want to visit a city with beautiful orange trees, DINKtravelers recommends traveling to Seville. This city possesses the greatest number of orange trees in the world, so you’ll be able to walk under their shadow and, if you plan your trip in the summer, you’ll find them covered in orange blossoms that fill the air with a delicious and relaxing scent.
Visit the Patio de los Naranjos (Orange Tree Courtyarda) next to the Cathedral. According to expert botanists, one of the trees you’ll find there was cultivated in times of king Charles I, in the 16th century!
Don’t litter in the garden and don’t take any fruit. If you want to taste it, go to a local restaurant and try a delicious sour orange jam that’s also characteristic of this destination that possesses a beautiful natural heritage.
In China they say that orange trees bring joy to those who possess them, but when you travel to southern Spain, you’ll understand that they also bring joy to those who visit them.