Lore: al-Mu’tamid’s Almond Trees

Mar 26, 2014 by

Lore: al-Mu’tamid’s Almond Trees

The eleventh-century poet-king of Andalusia, al-Mu’tamid, was famous for the romantic poetry he wrote to his wife, who was famous for her extravagant desires. One day in winter, according to legend, from inside the palace she saw snow falling—unusual in what is now southern Spain—and began to weep. Why was he so cruel, she asked, as to deny her the joy of seeing this wondrous sight more often? To please his queen, al-Mu’tamid had almond trees planted so the petals floating to the ground would remind her of snow.

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