The Clepsidra

The Clepsidra

Towards 1076 the people that inhabited the then Muslim city of Toledo gave themselves to fastos to celebrate the victory of their king Al-Mamún over the Sevillian monarch, Al-Motamid. Numerous are the walíes, alcaides and sheikhs who have arrived at the Palace of the King to present their tributes…

After several days of banquets and dances all music ceases, the torches lit inside the pond are extinguished by real whim so that when the water falls it would look like multicolored rain and something wonderful.

Meanwhile, the senior gardener walks alone, terribly concerned about the prediction made by a wise old man hours earlier…

That afternoon the caretaker of the royal garden had gone to visit the wise astrologer who lives on the left bank of the Tagus. Through the astrolabe and other magical recipes he read the future:

” The royal guest will return to take possession of the jewel whose charms he knows thanks to the liberality of your lord”


The gardener knew the opinion of the city’s wisest warriors, who assured that it would take up to seven years of siege to conquer Toledo. He did not believe that such an affirmation was possible, but the magician, using archaic formulas, showed the gardener how the prediction would be fulfilled a few years later:

” I, who learned from the mysterious science of the fakirs in the intricate jungles of India, augur that the clepsidra of the royal garden will not run ten springs under muslim power”

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The Clepsidra

Photo: clepsidra at Galiana Palace by Felperea at

Note: the “clepsidra” was located in the place known today as “Palacio de Galiana”, in the Huerta del Rey. Related Legend: The Palace of Galiana and Alfonso VI.

Location of the Legend in Google Maps: click here to access.