Last March 5th, FUNCI signed a collaboration agreement with the Environment and Mobility Area of Madrid City Council, represented by Inés Sabanés, for the development of activities with educational and awareness-raising purposes.
This agreement has been possible due to both FUNCI and Madrid City Council’s dedication to the protection and awareness-raising of Madrid’s heritage, the only capital of Arab Islamic origin of Europe. Madrid’s own name, in fact, comes from the form Mayrit, a hybrid between Arabic and Romance language, and it references the many water sources that run under its ground.
A legal ground for cooperation
FUNCI began its collaboration with Madrid City Council in the year 2017, in the frame of its project “Mayrit, Bridge for Peace”, with actions aiming to the gradual transformation of the park Emir Mohammed I, located in the Cuesta de la Vega. There lies Madrid’s Islamic city wall, dating back to the 9th century, the oldest construction in the city.
Currently, in the frame of the recently created Center for the Study of the Islamic Madrid (CEMI), FUNCI is carrying out a series of guided visits through Madrid’s Islamic heritage, in order to show both Madrid’s citizens and tourists the evolution of this park and of the many interventions its wall has had. Likewise, FUNCI has marked the different plants the park comprises, which have been acclimatized by Madrid City Council, including a short historical and ethnobotanical description.
Another relevant collaboration with Madrid City Council was the visual inspection of the Andalusi heritage structures located underneath the plaza de los Carros: the qanat or water channels, usually known as “Water travel systems”. This inspection was carried out on October 25th, 2017, and counted with the participation of our collaborator, the archeologist Manuel Retuerce Velasco, who is part of this agreement’s joint commission.
Among the foreseen activities, in the frame of the agreement, we can highlight those aiming at continuing the landscape reconstruction of the park Emir Mohammed I, in order to turn it into a garden area, as it must have been back in the date, as well as the development of other areas related to Madrid’s Medieval past. Likewise, it will continue the visits to the garden with environmental educational purposes and to highlight Madrid’s natural and historical heritage.
Furthermore, after the exploration of the channels underneath the plaza de los Carros, both organisms will exchange information on the “Water travel systems”, understood as an emblematic Andalusi cultural heritage in Madrid. Similarly, informative and educational material will be developed on the city’s history, and different activities for the research of the city’s remaining “Water travel systems” will be promoted.