The ballerina of the Generalife and the cypress architecture


Jose Tito Rojo / Manuel Casares Porcel

One of the most characteristic features of the gardens and orchards of Granada during the Romantic Period was cypress-based topiary, clipped to imitate architectural figures, arches, vaults, etc. The most notable of these designs, known as “bailarinas” (literally, “dancers” or “ballerinas”), were arbours composed of eight cypress trees in a circle, joined at the crown by means of complex interlaced patterning that imitated the nerves of Gothic cupolas. This design marked the end of a period of evolution that peaked in the mid-19th century and disappeared abruptly in the early 20th century. Only the abandoned remains of a few bailarinas have lasted to the present day.

Complete text in Spanish:

La bailarina del Generalife y las topiarias arquitectónicas de ciprés en los jardines granadinos del siglo XIX parte 1

La bailarina del Generalife y las topiarias arquitectónicas de ciprés en los jardines granadinos del siglo XIX parte2

In: Cuadernos de la Alhambra: La bailarina del Generalife y las topiarias arquitectónicas de ciprés en los jardines granadinos del siglo XIX. Vol.35 Granada 1999 p. 56-92

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