La Casa del Rey Moro

The Casa del Rey Moro is a monumental ensemble unique for its historical interest as a key location in the history of the Reconquest and in the defense of Ronda throughout the centuries.

It consists of three parts: the water mine, the house and the garden.

  • The Water Mine (one of the best conserved exemplars in Spain)
  • The House, an amalgamation of several 18th century homes conceived by the Duchess of Parcent (currently undergoing restoration)
  • The Garden, designed for the Duchess by Jean-Claude Nicolas Forestier in 1912 (the French landscape architect’s first recognised work in Spain)

Forestier’s Mediterranean-style garden combines elements of classic Hispano-Moorish garden design with the geometric layout of a French garden. It accommodates its outline to the solar strait in the uneven terrain in which it is found by means of three terraces. Additionally, it exploits the site’s full potential by including scenic overlooks with views of the El Tajo gorge and the mountains

The Water Mine is a complex feat of hydraulic engineering for military use; a vertical passageway carved into the wall of the gorge following the line of a natural crevice hidden within the walls of El Tajo. The tour of The Mine
takes you on a unique journey down through its galleries to the bed of the River Guadalevín (some 60 metres/200 feet below), a natural environment of great beauty.

The Water Mine and the Historic Garden are currently open to visitors.

Jean Claude Nicolas Forestier: the Garden

 

The French landscaper Jean Claude Nicolas Forestier is the creator of the Garden of the House of the Moorish King. His arrival in Spain is linked to the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929, in Seville. 

 

 

Before that, in Paris, he had restored the Gardens of the Bagatelle Pavilion and those of the International Exhibition of Decorative and Modern Industrial Arts, which was to be held in 1925. He managed the direction of the Parks and Walks Services of the city, commissioning, among others, the Garden of the Bois de Boulogne, located on the avenue where Trinidad von Scholtz Hermensdorff had his residence in Paris.

Considering the activity of Trinidad in his house in Paris, often bringing together the intellectuals and creators of the time, it would not be strange that he had coincided with Forestier at that time. What is known for sure is that the landscaper came to Spain in 1911 at the request of the Executive Committee of the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 to design the Maria Luisa Park in Seville. It was in this period that Trinidad von Scholtz Hermensdorff commissioned the elaboration of the Garden of the House of the Moorish King. And since 1915, the landscaper also worked in the gardens for the Universal Exposition that was being prepared in Barcelona for 1929, at the request of Cambó. He died in Paris in 1930 at the age of 69.