of the pool
This courtyard, next to those of the Well and Gardeners, was part of the service area of the house of Torres Cabrera adjoined to Viana in the 19th century. Also called the Courtyard of the Greenhouse and, before that, the Courtyard of the Deer, this typical working courtyard is today the nerve centre for the palace’s gardening team.
The Courtyard of the Pool was part of the houses owned by the Counts of Torres Cabrera, incorporated into Viana in 1814 by Diego Rafael Cabrera Fernández de Mesa, 7th Marquis of Villaseca and twelfth owner of the palace. This courtyard formed a set with the neighbouring Courtyard of the Well, being part of what was referred to as the lodge. In other words, they were service areas used to manage the affairs of the numerous estates and rural properties owned by nobility of Viana. In the late 19th century and early 20th century the area was known as the Courtyard of the Deer. The Viana family had an excellent relationship with the monarchy. The 2nd Marquis of Viana (1870- 1927) was a personal friend of King Alfonso XIII, who attended many hunts in the Cordoban country estate of Moratalla (Hornachuelos), also owned by the Viana family. It was therefore not surprising to find stuffed deer heads in this area.
The pool that today dominates the courtyard is a fairly recent addition, dating back to the 1980s. It was previously located in the neighbouring Courtyard of the Well. When the palace was opened to the public in the 1980’s and preparations were being made for public visits the pool was transferred to its current location as in the Courtyard of the Well the circulation of visitors was difficult. The pool fulfils a function inherited from the Arabs centuries earlier: to expose to the sun, aerate and oxygenate the water from the well prior to its use in surface irrigation as has been carried out in Viana for many centuries. In 1960 the greenhouse was added because the 3rd Marquise of Viana wanted to grow seasonal plants.
Two centuries after its incorporation into Viana, the Courtyard of the Pool still retains its spirit of a working area.
The pool: Muslim Heritage
The presence of water in the Cordoban courtyards are promoted during the Muslim era. Previously, the pool had been used by other cultures as Persians, Greeks and Romans; but it was the Muslims who refined and accentuated the different uses. In addition to the decorative and recreational use made of water by the Muslims, with its sounds and reflections, it was also used as an organisational feature of courtyards, through irrigation channels or pools. One emblematic example is the courtyard of the pool at Madinat al-Zahra. Although the pool normally had a functional use in collecting the water for irrigation, it also had an ornamental and recreational use, as seen in some Nasrid Palaces in Granada.
Flowering calendar for the main plants