3 · The Viveros Gardens

The Viveros Gardens or Royal Gardens are a natural setting located between the St. Pius V Museum and the beginning of the Blasco Ibáñez Avenue. They are now a public park but they once were the gardens that surrounded the taifas Kings’ recreational palace during the town’s muslim period. The palace was built by Abdelaziz in the 11th century and was called Rahal. The fertile grounds, surrounded by water and called the Vivel Orchard, were chosen as the palace building site. Its second name, Royal Gardens, refers to the Royal Palace in which the Almunia was turned into since the 14th century.

The palace disappeared because of the war in 1810 but I’ve discovered that the town’s interest to improve and take care of these gardens has only grown since then. Flower beds have been created, the perimeter has been delimited by wrought iron railings, and all of this just to turn the park into a place in which people can enjoy nature. And, of course, one of the things that has greatly improved its beauty are the many commemorative statues I’ve been visiting given my art historian side. Among my favorites are the ones who incarnate four gods from classic mythology: Apollo, Venus, Diana and Chronos, sculpted by
Jacobo Ponazanelli.

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