Fountain room

The Fountain Room is the luxurious reception room of the Norman rulers, configured in the form of a Persian-style iwan. It projects outwards, in ideal connection with the surrounding park and in axis with the main entrance in a predominant position compared to the other rooms. It takes the form of a large hall opening onto the vestibule through an ogival arch supported by paired marble columns. The hall’s interior is cruciform in shape with large decorated and vaulted niches and muqarnas. The entire room is decorated with mosaics and marble inlays in opus sectile and columns with capitals of Islamic origin. The mosaic ornaments on the western side of the fountain room are an original example of secular mosaics, which do not deal with themes related to ecclesiastical life. Of Byzantine type and with Islamic iconography, the mosaic panels, with a gold background, show two facing archers, in the centre of a tondo, while shooting at birds perched in trees; in the two side tondos, there are pairs of facing peacocks pecking at dates hanging from palm trees. Each tondo is decorated and surrounded by intertwining plant motifs.
In the part below the mosaics, water flowed through a marble slab into a gutter at floor level, interspersed with basins and decorations in opus sectile. It then gushed into the grandiose fishpond outside.