Friday, November 21, 2008

The lost palace of an Arab prince

In the oldest part of Sitges you see a mysterious structure, a palace with an ornate exterior and with the intriguing name Palau Del Rei Moro. My knowledge of Catalan language is restricted, but does the name suggest that it once housed Arab princes?

I have been fooled before, as what I assumed was a medieval building – Palau Maricel, was just a century old. I have tried to verify the roots of this beautiful building through the internet, without finding too much information. Part of the building is said to have been built in the 14th century. I had only what I assume is the right translation of the name:

Palau = Palace
Del Rei = of King
Moro = Moorish

In a way I love the fact that I do not know the origin of this house. Whether it was built as a whim for a local tycoon as Palau Maricel, or whether it once in a distant past housed an Arab king and his harem.

When walking to see its exterior, you see a fortified building with roughly cut yellow-brown stones enclosing a hidden courtyard? The most striking feature of this building is an impressive ornate doorway.

Maybe one of you that visit my site may enlighten me of the true origins of this mysterious building. What is the origins of the name – did really an Arab king once live in what once was a humble building, or did a Catalan architect manage to create another Medieval illusion for a rich and eccentric Catalan tycoon a century ago?

De mystify me!

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