Genoardo (from the Arabic Jannat al-arḍ, meaning Paradise on Earth), was a large royal park crowded with trees of all species, but especially with citrus and magnolia, in which were found numerous kiosks, residences, fountains and ponds.
Of these, worth mentioning are the Cuba Sottana, or Palazzo della Cuba, a structure that still exists, and Cuba Soprana, a Norman tower incorporated during the 18th century in the beautiful palace Villa Napoli.
Cubula was built in 1184 by Fatimid architects. The kiosk was probably in the middle of a lake that extended to Cuba Soprana. Because of its particular location, surrounded by greenery, Cubula was often used as a resting place by the Norman sovereign and his guests.
Cubula has a square plan with pointed arches on each side, decorated with rusticated bands and surmounted by a hemispherical dome in the typical red color of Arab-Norman style.
The small building uses motifs found on other edifices in Palermo, such as the Basilica La Magione and the Church of the Holy Spirit. The same motifs are also found in the pediment of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and in the bell tower of the Church of Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio.
The monument is waiting to be included in the Arab-Norman itinerary of Palermo, Cefalù and Monreale, as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, approved in 2015.
HOW TO GET THERE
Cubula is located about 3 kilometers away from the Palermo Centrale train station. The closest bus station is Calatafimi-Zancla, located on the Corso Calatafimi street, about 110 meters away. The station can be reached with one of the buses 309, 389 and 389P. If you need a map, use the one below.