“The “Garden” is the most elaborate part of the Mosque. Little can be said in its praise by day, when it bears the same relation to a second-rate church in Rome as an English chapel-of-ease to Westminster Abbey. It is a space of about eighty feet in length, tawdrily decorated so as to resemble a garden. The carpets are flowered and the pediments of the columns are cased with bright green tiles, and adorned to the height of a man with gaudy and unnatural vegetation in arabesque. It is disfigured by handsome branched candelabras of cut crystal, the work, I believe, of a London house, and presented to the shrine by the late Abbas Pasha of Egypt.
The only admirable feature of the view is the light cast by the windows of stained glass in the Southern wall. Its peculiar background, the railing of the tomb, a splendid filigree-work of green and polished brass, gilt or made to resemble gold, looks more picturesque near than at a distance, when it suggests the idea of a gigantic bird-cage. But at night the eye, dazzled by oil-lamps suspended from the roof, by huge wax candles, and by smaller illuminations falling upon crowds of visitors in handsome attire, with the richest and noblest of the city sitting in congregation when service is performed, becomes less critical. Still the scene must be viewed with Moslem bias, and until a man is thoroughly imbues with the spirit of the East, the last place the Rauzah will remind him of, is that which the architect primarily intended it to resemble – a garden.”
Sir Richard F. Burton – Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah & Meccah