The current Ride of Catalina de Ribera has its remote origin in the cession of land to the city by the Reales Alcázares between 1849 and 1862, and which were known as Huerta del Retiro, with the aim of embellishing the exterior round. At the end of the 19th century, a first project of landscaping and furnishing of the so-called "Ride of the Mournings" was undertaken and, in 1920, on the occasion of the interventions made with a view to the Ibero-American Exposition, the architect Juan Talavera y Heredia, formalizes the traces conserved today.
In 1915, he introduced ceramic decorations following the regionalist taste of the time, as well as archaeological remains and pergolas. In the year 1916-17 the guardhouse was built and between 1917 and 1923 the famous roundabout José García Ramos.
This same architect, notorious representative of regionalist historicism, had designed a few years before the adjacent Murillo Gardens, fruit also of the cession (1911) of another portion, located northwest, of the Huerta del Retiro del Alcázar, to communicate the neighbourhood of Santa Cruz with the Prado de San Sebastián.
The Ride of Catalina de Ribera and the Murillo Gardens make up one of the garden areas of greatest historical, artistic, landscape and environmental interest of the existing ones in the city of Seville. Participating fully in the life of the city, they conserve interesting botanical species as well as architectural, sculptural and original urban furniture elements from the moment of their formalization in the first quarter of the 20th century.
The Murillo Gardens, located next to the historical round, currently Menéndez y Pelayo Street, is an essential open space to alleviate the dense occupation imposed by the urban fabric of the Santa Cruz neighbourhood. Lindan with the walk of Catalina de Ribera, with which defines the image of the southeast part of the old urban centre of the city of Seville.
The Catalina de Ribera promenade connects Puerta de la Carne with the northern part of the Prado de San Sebastián and with San Fernando street, recently pedestrianized. The old Tobacco Factory that is located at this point, the large arboreal masses of the Alcázar that go beyond the fence that delimit it, the Barrio de Santa Cruz, confer to this ample landscaped sector, the idea of being the anteroom of one of the historical parts of the best known city.
The layout on the Ride of Catalina de Ribera has a clear longitudinal layout, designed for transit, while the Murillo Gardens layout, due to its location and design, is more secluded.
The Ride is structured by means of a central axis and two secondary axes, parallel to it and arranged on both sides, which are formed by parterres delimited by factory and tile railings.
The central axis is interrupted at its midpoint by a wide circular space centred by a source, also circular, on which are raised, on top of a pedestal with busts of Columbus and the Catholic Monarchs, two columns that support an entablature crowned by the figure of a lion and, to half shaft, the prows of the caravels. The monument, which provides the vertical element of compositional compensation to the Ride, was designed by the architect Talavera and executed by the sculptor Lorenzo Coullaut-Varela, and is dedicated to Christopher Columbus, in keeping with the events of the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929, in what was done.
Very close to the monumental fountain is the parietal fountain, attached to the wall enclosing the gardens of the Alcázar, dedicated to Catalina de Ribera, benefactor of the city with the founding of the Hospital of the Five Wounds. It has an architectural structure of neo-Anistist style designed by Talavera and Heredia with paintings alluding to the lady, plus the remains of another 16th-century fountain.
The gardens of Murillo, shows greater integration with the arboreal masses of the Alcázar, denoting the origin of the land. In easy to distinguish its boundary with the Ride de Catalina de Ribera whose linear line seems to be subject to the layout that imposed in that section the historic round. They present a composition based on grid paths formed by hedges and pavements that, in their meetings, create roundabouts of octagonal plan in which there are central fountains and factory benches covered with tiles. The resulting parterres are occupied by dense masses of vegetation that give the enclosure an intimate atmosphere.
Among the open spaces, there is a roundabout dedicated to the painter José García Ramos, which is delimited by entrance arches and walls in which there are tile panels that recreate famous works by this artist, executed by other painters of the maestro's environment such as Miguel del Pino, Santiago Martínez, Alfonso Grosso, Manuel Vigil, and Diego López. In its vicinity there is a regionalist construction dedicated to housing.
In these gardens a great variety of vegetal species can be found, standing out, by their age and development, exemplars of Magnolia Grandiflora, Cupresus Sempervivens Strict, Ficus Magnoloides Religiosa, Platanus Hybrid, etc.
Fuente: bdi del Patrimonio Inmueble de Andalucía (Junta de Andalucía).