We get closer to two of Palma’s main monuments, Palma Cathedral and the Almudaina Palace, but for now we will stop for a quick refresher at the Jardins de s’Hort del Rei. These cosy gardens already appeared in all maps of Palma before 1900 and were marked as hort, which is the Catalan word for orchard or garden. Taking the French meaning of the word, it is a closed area where you can find fruit trees and healing or decorating plants. Nowadays, apart from water fountains, you can find orange trees, lemon trees, palm trees and some other plants. These gardens belonged to the Royal Family once upon a time as part of the neighbouring Almudaina Palace and were not open to the public.
In the early XX century an urban planning law allowed buildings to be erected in the area and so the gardens disappeared. In their location, a modernist-style theatre was built, the Teatre Líric, as well as the Alhambra Hotel and the Riskal bar. However, towards the mid XX century those were demolished to recover the space as the original Jardins de s’Hort del Rei that we know today. They were done imitating the style of the Gardens of the Alhambra in Granada and one of their main characteristic points are the water fountains, you will want a picture with them!
One of the most famous landmarks is the arab arch, which you can find in the southernmost part of the gardens. It is believed to be original and it leads to the place where boats would wait whilst goods were unloaded to the fortress. It used to connect with the sea and the nearby river, sa Riera. It is now Palma’s own Swan Lake so remember to go say hi next time you are around!
I wondered what the small pond was! I had a look in when I was there, and saw the swans with the little baby swans too!
At least now you now know the story behind it! It is a very cosy place and the swans that live there definitely make it special. Thank you for your comments!