Casa del Rey Moro Garden in Balboa Park

Casa del Rey Moro Garden in Balboa Park is not a traditional garden. It has few trees and flowers but has a pleasant central pond, a small water spout, a wishing well, and stairs that lead up and down three terraces.

In 1926, architect Richard Requa saw a garden in a small town called Ronda in the south of Spain. He declared the garden in Casa de Rey Moro (House of the Moorish King) to be of "outstanding interest and beauty".

In 1935, for the California Pacific International Exposition, Richard Requa made a reproduction of the garden he discovered in Ronda. Work was quite frantic but the garden was completed just in time: 5 am on the morning the Exposition opened (May 29, 1935). Compare the recessed water spout in Ronda, Spain (above, left) with the one in Balboa Park, San Diego (above, right).

Shaded walkways meander in and out of the Garden offering an impressive view of the lush ravine below.

In the early 1990's, the flower beds in the upper terrace were bricked-over leaving a few potted plants along the perimeter. It is now a popular location for wedding receptions.

  Wishing Well

The Garden experienced great success and many loved the design. But by the 1970's the garden was in disrepair. In 1996 - 1997, City Officials gave the place a well deserved face lift: it was completely reconstructed preserving most of Richard Requa's original design including the wishing well (a replica of the one at the Guadalajara Museum of Gardens).

Casa del Rey Moro Garden; map Location 35
Free. Open daily unless it is reserved for a private function.