Favara Park (Maredolce Park)
La Favara (from the Arabic al-fawwāra, “the source”) was the name of a Norman royal park in Palermo - also called Maredolce park.
Built at the behest of King Roger II before 1153 and perhaps identifiable with the Qaṣr Jaʿfar (the Palace of Jaʿfar) seen by Ibn Giubayr in 1184, and which Michele Amari connects to the name of the Kalbite emir who ruled Palermo from 998 to 1019.
The Favara di Maredolce park is located on the eastern edge of Palermo, where the Brancaccio district ends. The ancient park consisted of a palace (the castle of Maredolce), a garden of delights and an artificial lake already estimated to be about 40 hectares, but probably no more than 17, according to what can be seen from the position of the remains of the dam that barred it, and from reading the zenith aerial photos. Romualdo Guarna, archbishop of Salerno, describes in his chronicle of the world how King Roger had a lot of earth removed to form the artificial basin on whose banks he built a beautiful palace. This is a typology that will also return in the small pavilion-islet of the Palazzo della Zisa or in the palace or so-called Castello della Cuba. At the center of the basin there was an island with palm trees and citrus groves accessible only by boat, and the whole complex was surrounded by lush gardens. The Favara park is today located on the edge of a suburban neighborhood, partly intact in the original surface. The building speculation stopped at the edge of the basin, which, still collecting the waters of the nearby mountain, protected the park. But recent speculations and abuses by unscrupulous people are threatening even the last edges.
The main sources that fed it were instead captured by the municipal aqueduct, just upstream of the A19 motorway. The Castle of Maredolce still exists, and has been recently restored, but it is not open to the public.
The Favara park was part of a system of royal residences of delight, the "sollazzi", which enjoyed their maximum splendor under King William II: the Cuba Sottana today Castello della Cuba, the Cuba Soprana (today Villa Napoli) with an adjoining pavilion of the Cubola, both within a large artificial lake basin surrounded by vegetation, the Castello della Zisa, and finally the Castello dell'Uscibene
(Text source: wikipedia)
Card insertion: Ignazio Caloggero
Information contributions: Web, Region of Sicily
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