Moroccan architecture and style elements
Moroccan architecture has influences from Africa and Europe with Moorish and Islamic style elements. The architectural style is known for lavish gardens, extravagant geometrical decorations, elaborate use of deep and contrasting color.
In Marrakech I was amazed and impressed by the intricate carvings in cedar wood, italian marble and stalactite-like stucco.
Some of the buildings have the most fantastic painted ceilings and huge chandeliers.
Many buildings have walls in beautiful shades of ochre, pink or sand-color. Frontdoors are eye-catching and I love the use of tadelakt on walls. I am looking forward to using that in my house one day. Are you familiar with tadelakt as a material and technique?
The choice in tiles for floors, walls and mosaics is enormous! And did I mention the many rooftop-lounge-gardens?! Not only from restaurants, bars and riads, but also on private houses. Very enjoyable!
Where can you admire Moroccan architecture in Marrakech?
Just strolling through the Medina you will see many of the beautiful doors that I just mentioned. Most of the Riads are very tastefully decorated inside in Moroccan style.
If you are interested to see historic examples of Moroccan architecture in Marrakech, then here are some great examples:
- the Saadian tombs
- Bahia Palace
- Ali Ben Youssef Medersa school
- Royal Palace (not open to the public)
- the remains of the city walls and gates, like Bab Ksiba and Bab Agnaon
- Mansouria Mosque (not accessible for non-muslims)
- El Badi Palace (ruins)
- Museum of Moroccan Arts aka Dar Si Said
- Koutoubia Mosque and minaret (not accessible for non-muslims)
- Maison Tiskiwin
- Almoravid Koubha
An architectural tour in pictures
Let me show you some pictures to give you an idea:
1. and 2. : Saadian Tombs
3. Koutoubia Mosque and minaret
4. The ruins of the El Badi Palace
5. Part of the ancient city wall and two of the 20 gates
6. Mansouria Mosque
7. Ben Youssef Medersa school; in my eyes one of the architectural highlights of Marrakech
8. , 9., 10. and 11.: the Museum of Moroccan Arts is definitely in my top 3 of architectural sights in Marrakech. A must-visit!
So, what do you think? Are you attracted to and impressed by this architecture? Or is it not your cup of tea?
If you visit Andalucia, Spain, you will recognize many architectural style elements there, since they were very much influenced by the Moorish as well. I love Andalucia and cities like Granada and Sevilla. Have you been there?