A small Moorish garden of outstanding beauty.

The Casa del Rey Moro garden is a small gem in Balboa Park.
The Casa del Rey Moro garden is a small gem in Balboa Park.

In the 1920s, prominent San Diego architect Richard Requa visited Europe. During his extensive tour, he carefully observed a Moorish king’s garden in Ronda, Spain. A book that he later authored stated: “In my travels about the world, I had found three gardens of outstanding interest and beauty… The finest of these is in a small town in southern Spain called Ronda. Viewing it for the first time, there came instantly to mind the spontaneous exclamation, ‘I hope to die before I see anything more lovely.'”

Inspired by what he’d seen, Requa designed the Casa del Rey Moro garden (House of the Moorish King) for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition in San Diego’s Balboa Park. In 1997 the garden and adjacent House of Hospitality were rededicated after a major renovation. The garden, today a popular wedding spot, includes a replica of the wishing well in the Guadalajara Museum of Gardens.

Balboa Park is an enormous place full of competing attractions. It’s strange how I always feel compelled to walk through the Casa del Rey Moro garden!

View from House of Hospitality balcony of The Prado restaurant's outdoor seating near the garden.
View from a House of Hospitality balcony of The Prado restaurant’s outdoor seating near the garden.
A wishing well frames two elegant, classic fountains.
A wishing well frames two elegant, classic fountains.
The garden is a reproduction of the Moorish gardens in Ronda, Spain.
Beautiful elements are reproduced from a Moorish garden in Ronda, Spain.
A close up photo of one picturesque fountain.
A close up photo of one picturesque fountain.
Visitors read about the history of the Casa del Rey Moro garden.
Visitors read about the interesting history of the Casa del Rey Moro garden.
In my travels about the world, I have found three gardens of outstanding interest and beauty...
“In my travels about the world, I have found three gardens of outstanding interest and beauty…”
One can see why this venue is extremely popular for weddings.
One can see why this venue is extremely popular for weddings.

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Published by

Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

8 thoughts on “A small Moorish garden of outstanding beauty.”

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