The Morocco Is world famous for its charm, its pace and character, qualities that are partly due to its seductive and mysterious architecture. Despite the agitated history of immigration and military conquests, the country has managed to preserve most of its artistic and cultural heritage.
Moroccan architecture design
The various sovereigns and Calipats all left their imprint on the architecture of the kingdom. Ancient Medinas and Places with more modern European-inspired structures, these buildings and amenities are a strong testimony of the richness of Morocco's history and traditions.
The various design elements of traditional Moroccan architecture all have a strong Islamic influence. Whether it's elaborate geometric motifs that convey symmetry, ornamental calligraphy highlighting Verses of the Koran, or amazing and colored ceramic tile mosaics called Zellij.
On top of that, there is a great predominance of open courses with beautiful gardens and the sumptuous greenery at the center of most traditional houses and buildings.
The meticulously tiled water fountains used as a centerpiece also emphasize the importance of cleanliness and hygiene that is preponderant in Islamic teachings. In addition, these central points have also been constructed as private spaces that focus on privacy and relaxation.
On the other hand, Hispano-Moorish influences are widely present in a multitude of characteristics of Moroccan architecture. Separate white walls, large domes, stucco roofs and decorative arches are all design elements that are generally used in juxtaposition with buildings and Islamic-inspired structures.
What distinguishes the Moroccan architecture of its counterparts is not only the authentic and eclectic mixture of various design elements, but also the unique characteristics of each of its buildings. Whether it's mosques, riads, souks, palaces or ramparts, each structure has its own utility and therefore uses different architectural styles. We will discuss some of them in more detail below.
Mosques Perhaps one of the most important elements of any structure, whether cities, villages or villages. Whatever the size or low population density in a region, you are sure to find at least one mosque adorned with a large minaret dominating space.
Most mosques have brilliant patterns in fountains and walls made of small, but charming ceramic tiles or Zellij. The dominant colors you will find among these facilities are a bright white, an emerald green and a royal blue.
The Mihrab is one of the essential elements of a mosque, both for its functionality and for its visual appeal. In fact, all these mihrab are semicircular niches, arched arabesques, which are strategically placed to determine the Kibla. This is the direction of Kaaba in Mecca, and therefore from the direction to which Muslims have to turn to pray.
The University and the Al Quarreyine Mosque in Fez is one of the oldest and remarkable mosques of all Morocco. The Hassan II mosque of Casablanca, the Koutoubia mosque of Marrakech and the Great Mosque of Chefchaouen are not left out, with their imposing beauty and their venerated design.
These formidable historical monuments attract a multitude of visitors each year, allowing them to visit and celebrate the grandeur and the glory of Moroccan traditional architecture.
Unlike popular belief, riads have not been designed and built to welcome tourists and travelers. These institutes were more private properties that served as a house or palace. As private residences, the riads were built to maintain loneliness and privacy in the home of a person. They are very turned inward and concentrated.
The whole structure is closed to the outside world and opens only on the central point, which is a courtyard with a fountain or a fruit tree. Maintaining intimacy and isolation is a very important aspect of Islam. Thus, unlike European-style buildings with immense open windows and large glazed surfaces, the riads are built to protect the intimate frame of the house.
While the souks and mosques are more accessible to the public, the riads have been designed to protect the family from both intrusions and bad weather. Today, many of them have been converted into hotels and restaurants mainly for tourists so that they can live a more authentic Moroccan experience.
At the time, the Kasbahs were mainly constructed for defensive purposes. These fortified cities are known for their colossal size and impressive sustainable design. They were generally construed in association with the dominant colors of the buildings of the city or the village.
One of the most common features of the Kasbahs is their goal combined with a rich gold outdoor coating. These fortresses can almost be described as a city in the city to protect the vicinity of pirate ships and invasion forces.
In addition, the simple but efficient energy-efficient construction allows the premises to stay cool in summer and hot winter. In addition, the Kasbahs generally include their own mosque, a steam room (public bath), a medersa (school), a fountain, as well as a common bread oven.
Faithful to their magnificent and glorious past, today's Kasbahs perfectly combine extraordinary historical monuments and modern institutions. The Kasbah Bel-Kush in Beni Mellal and the Kasbah of Oudayas in Rabat are two of the most wonderful Kasbahs of the country, and they are really worth the detour.
The medersas were more than just boarding schools for religious education. These thriving centers offered significant and varied courses of philosophy, law and astrology. The architectural structure and the design of a medersa are full of dichotomies.
On the one hand, wooden dorms where students lived and spent their free time were very modest, discrete and poorly elaborate. On the other hand, the mosque that this establishment encompasses is incredibly large and imposing. Like the Riads, the medersas also have parts of water in the center of the courtyard, in addition to lemon trees or orange trees.
This magnificent leisure and relaxation area is embellished with delightful white, green and blue zone, a fascinating Islamic calligraphy and ornamental arches with detail in stucco. The wonderful contrast of the decor of these medersas is difficult to express by simple words, so, make sure to add the Medersa Bou Inania to Meknes to your list of things to do during your next visit!