Gardens Of The East

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Gardens Of The East
Gardens Of The East
Video: Gardens Of The East
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The East, as you know, is a delicate matter. In the Muslim world, traditions determine the entire way of life of people; here little changes over time. To a European, Muslim society appears to be conservative and stagnant, but any conservatism has its positive side. In the Arab East, people value family relationships, respect their elders, and are ready for self-sacrifice in the name of higher goals. The artistic consciousness here also bears the imprint of a conservative attitude to the past. Muslim art, unlike European art, does not know revolutionary milestones in its development. And the gardens of the East in this sense are no exception. The gardens that we see today reproduce ancient examples of centuries ago. In the East, gardens were cherished and passed from hand to hand as a most valuable gift, and time only partly had power over them.Therefore, resting in the shade of a tree of some oriental garden and listening to the melodic murmur of a stream, you can be sure that this is exactly what this garden looked like 100, 200 and more years ago.

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Highest value

Islam was formed in countries with hot climates, where water has always been the highest value. According to Muslims, paradise is where water is always abundant. On the ground, such a place were gardens - after all, as a rule, they were planted in places of artificial irrigation. Water, like a jewel, was treated with great trepidation: it was strapped into the marble bed of pools and canals, forced to splash in a fountain, not forgetting to then collect all the priceless drops together and send it in a peaceful murmuring stream to different corners of the garden.

Chor-bak

The composition of Islamic gardens is quite recognizable. First of all, attention is drawn to the emphasized geometricity of their plan. It is based on the main compositional principle - "chor-bak", which means "4 gardens". In accordance with this principle, the territory of the garden was divided into large squares, each of which, in turn, was divided into even smaller ones. The individual squares that made up the garden were like a mosaic panel, from which a complete picture was formed. They were separated from each other by paths and rows of plants, and sometimes by channels with water. In the centers of the squares, small fountains or even whole pools were often arranged, from which water diverged through a system of canals in different directions. Lyrical, quietly murmuring fountains, light jets of water flowing over the marble bed, created a special intimate atmosphere.It was enhanced by exotic trees and fragrant flowers, walking peacocks and birds singing in gilded cages. Bird singing was very popular in the East. It filled the garden with gaiety and joy.

Muslim Garden in Malaga, Spain
Muslim Garden in Malaga, Spain

Paradise Tabernacles

Ornamental plants coexisted with fruit plants in the gardens of the East. Quince, pear and peach trees not only delighted the eye during flowering, but also delighted visitors with delicious fruits. Of the flowers, the rose was especially loved by Muslims. Cleansing power was attributed to its petals. It is a known fact when the Turkish Sultan Mohammed II, having seized Constantinople, ordered the washing of the church of St. Sophia with rose water, in order to cleanse him of the spirit of the infidels. After that, the temple was turned into a mosque.

In the East, they were very fond of beautifully flowering bulbous plants - tulips and hyacinths. The famous English traveler, who visited Constantinople at the beginning of the 17th century, talks about a wonderful garden of hyacinths planted in oblong flower beds. The Turkish sultan loved to spend his free time here, enjoying the strong aroma of these spring flowers, which the oriental people really like.

At the Sultan's court, a tulip bloom festival was held annually, reminiscent of a scene from The Thousand and One Nights. On the day of the holiday, all paths of the garden were covered with carpets, incense enveloped the garden, and in the most prominent place thousands of blooming tulips formed intricate bright patterns. At the same time, in different parts of the garden, invisible orchestras played either merry or sad motives. The richly dressed wives of the Sultan accompanied him in the garden, showing the most beautiful flowers, and then an abundant feast began, furnished with enchanting dances and singing.

Andrey Gorodnyansky

landscape designer, journalist

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