The courtyard of the Orange Trees is located in the northern part of the temple. It has its origins in the ablutions courtyard of the mosque of Abderramán I, although it was also used for teaching and trials. It was subsequently enlarged and refurbished during the following building phases. The first Christian testimony dates back to 1263, when the Gómez de Alcázar family requested a tomb in "la claustra de Santa María". It was under the mandate of Bishop Martín Fernández de Angulo (1510-16) when Hernán Ruiz I remodelled the three galleries made by the emir Hisham I in the 8th century, which were divided into sections of three peralted arches, while the capitals were mostly reused from existing Islamic ones.
The first references to the presence of orange trees date back to 1512, although the number and distribution are unknown, while in the 17th century there are references to 80 orange trees, 12 cypresses, three palm trees and an olive tree. The current design of the gardens and the arrangement of the trees in rows is the result of work carried out by Bishop Francisco de Reynoso between 1597 and 1601.
The enclosure is 130 metres long and 50 metres wide. Its western, northern and eastern sides are surrounded by porticoed galleries and have six gates that connect the courtyard with the exterior: the Deanes gate and the Milk gate on the west side; the Perdón gate and the Caño Gordo gate to the north; and the Grada Redonda gate and the Santa Catalina gate to the east. In these galleries, the beams and planks that made up the original coffered ceiling of the church, from the 19th century restoration, are on display. Their state of conservation, which is relatively good as the reliefs that decorated them and part of the original polychromy are still visible, led to their removal for better conservation and served as a model for the creation of those that can be seen today.
The south wall, which connects the courtyard with the interior of the church, is made up of 17 horseshoe arches. These arches were originally open, making the prayer hall an open space. Today, only one of them, the Puerta de las Palmas, connects to the courtyard. All the arches to the east of the gate were walled up after the Christian conquest to accommodate multiple chapels. On the other hand, the arches to the west of the gate are enclosed by Arabic-style lattices built in 1974 by the architect Rafael de la Hoz Arderius and Víctor Ángel Caballero Ungría.Article obtained from Wikipedia article Wikipedia in his version of 01/07/2022, by various authors under the license Licencia de Documentación Libre GNU.