Relaxing in heavenly gardens

Ancient Persia is nowadays called Iran. That is where the royal family of Liyongo probably came from. The ancient Persians built the most beautiful palaces centuries before they did that in the West. With their starry skies and beautiful mosaics, these palaces looked like they belonged in fairytales and not this world. In the Middle East, it is always scorching hot and dry, yet the ancient Persians had found a solution for it: their Islamic palaces all had vast gardens that were surrounded by walls. They were enchantingly beautiful. These landscaped-style gardens had canals, water basins, fountains, squares and beautiful buildings. People met there to talk, write or listen to poetry. Others gathered there to eat together and dream away as they listened to the chatter of the birds. As you can imagine, all the water, herbs, beautiful flowers and
lush, shady plants in these gardens reminded people of paradise. Owing to the Persian’s commercial and adventurous spirit, the knowledge of the Persian paradise gardens travelled to the rest of the world. Just think of the gardens of Babylon, the gardens of Versailles near Paris or the Alhambra in Spain. The only difference is that there were a few centuries between their construction. Many of these sights have since disappeared, but a few remain on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. They are well protected. Liyongo lived part of his life in such a castle with a paradise garden near Mombasa, Kenya. Regrettably, his life later took a completely different turn…