176 Photos - Nov 18, 2011
Photo: Morocco!Photo: the hotel where we stayed in CasablancaPhoto: in CasablancaPhoto: a busy night scene in CasablancaPhoto: the backdrop says why the place is named "Casablanca"Photo: The Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca - one of the largest mosques in the world standing on a promontory looking out to the Atlantic. Designed by the French architect Michel Pinseau, the mosque's minaret is the world's tallest at 210 m (689 ft).Photo: probably the world's 7th largest mosque (according to Wikipedia) - the Hassan II Mosque in CasablancaPhoto: facade of Hassan II MosquePhoto: Photo: at the wide courtyard of Hassan II Mosque in CasablancaPhoto: Photo: Photo: wall of the Kasbah Loudaya in RabatPhoto: Kasbah Loudaya overlooking the City of RabatPhoto: in RabatPhoto: settlements and narrow alley inside the KasbahPhoto: view of the Atlantic from the top of the KasbahPhoto: Rabat... you can see from this point the Kasbah and the Hassan TowerPhoto: the City of RabatPhoto: This is Hassan Tower, the minaret of an incomplete mosque in Rabat, Morocco which was started in 1195 but four years later, Sultan Yacoub al-Mansour died and construction on the mosque stopped. The tower, intended to be the largest minaret in the world along with the mosque, also intended to be the world's largest, only reached 44 m (140 ft), about half of its intended 86 m (260 ft) height.Photo: The mosque was also left incomplete, with only the beginnings of several walls and 200 columns being constructed.Photo: Photo: Photo: with my Moroccan friend Ismail who gave me the Berber name BossouPhoto: located just near the the Hassan Tower is the modern Mausoleum of Mohammed V that forms an important historical and tourist complex in RabatPhoto: Photo: Photo: this is Bab El-Mansour, the grand gate which is among the most impressive elements of the imperial city of MeknesPhoto: a park inside the walled imperial city of MeknesPhoto: the imperial city of MeknesPhoto: the city square of MeknesPhoto: a narrow alley in the old medina of MeknesPhoto: inside the riad where we stayed in Meknes (Riad Zahra)Photo: a very nice place to stay in MeknesPhoto: before our dinner... the riad served the most delicious tajin i have ever tasted in moroccoPhoto: Photo: the entrance of the mausoleum for Moulay Ismaïl in MeknesPhoto: inside the mausoleum for Moulay IsmaïlPhoto: a closer look at the tomb of Moulay IsmaïlPhoto: at the tomb of Moulay Ismaïl in MeknesPhoto: this is a prayer room at the mausoleum for Moulay Ismaïl (which is also a mosque)Photo: Photo: doors leading to different prayer chambers at the mausoleum for Moulay IsmaïlPhoto: at the Basin of the Norias (Sahrij Swani) in Meknes with Ibrahim of RoughtoursPhoto: Photo: at the Basin of the Norias (Sahrij Swani), an attraction to tourists visiting the city as well as to the local inhabitants who come at weekends to cool down during summerPhoto: Photo: a beautiful landscape outside the city proper of MeknesPhoto: this is Volubilis (Arabic: Walili), a Roman settlement constructed on what was probably a Carthaginian city, dating from 3rd century BCPhoto: Volubilis was the administrative center of the province in Roman Africa called Mauretania Tingitana. The fertile lands of the province produced many commodities such as grain and olive oil, which were exported to Rome, contributing to the province's wealth and prosperity.Photo: behind me is the ruin of the basilica in VolubilisPhoto: at Volubilis (arabic: Walili), an archaeological site in Morocco situated near Meknes, which features the best preserved Roman ruins in this part of northern AfricaPhoto: part of Volubilis' structures damaged by the 1755 Lisbon earthquakePhoto: the Volubilis ruins overlooking the fertile lands of the placePhoto: ruins of the capitol in VolubilisPhoto: Photo: Photo: the triumphal arch in VolubilisPhoto: Photo: Photo: our lunch in Walili (Volubilis) - a traditional Moroccan food tajin... yummy!Photo: the picturesque town of Moulay Idriss in Northern Morocco named after Moulay Idris I, the founder of the Idrisid DynastyPhoto: Photo: this is the Mausoleum of Moulay Idriss which is considered the holiest place in Morocco... every late August, a great Muslim festival called "moussem" is held here...Photo: this is the landscape of Moulay Idriss, a town named after the prominent Moroccan saint, Moulay Idriss who was a descendant of Prophet Muhammad, of the fourth generation, and died by murder hand in 792Photo: the town of Moulay Idriss... at this point, you can see the Shrine of Moulay Idriss (green roof)Photo: Photo: This is the only round minaret in Morocco, a design highly uncommon throughout the rest of the Muslim world, too. You can find this in Moulay Idriss.Photo: at Moulay IdrissPhoto: at Moulay Idriss overlooking the fertile land of MoroccoPhoto: the main gate of the Royal Palace in FesPhoto: a closer view of the details of the Royal Palace main gate in FesPhoto: rain or shine... our trip must go on...Photo: Photo: the oldest and walled part of Fes also known as Fes el BaliPhoto: another view of Fes el BaliPhoto: souqs (local market) inside the old medina of Fes... as you can see here, mules are used to transport goods inside the car-free medinaPhoto: a common daily scene inside the old medina of FesPhoto: though the place is now thickly populated, once you are here you can feel you live back in timePhoto: the University of Al-Qarawiyyin in Fes (جامعة القرويين), founded as a mosque school or madrasa in 859, is considered by the Guinness book the oldest continuously operating academic degree-granting university in the worldPhoto: this is the Al-Attarine Madrasa in Fes, built by the Marinid sultan Uthman II Abu Said in 1323 (the madrasa takes its name from the Souq al-Attarine, the spice and perfume market)Photo: at the Al-Attarine Madrasa in FesPhoto: at the Al-Attarine Madrasa in FesPhoto: at the Al-Attarine Madrasa in FesPhoto: this is the Nejjarine Museum of Wood Arts and Crafts in Fes, a three-story patio that displays Morocco’s various native woods, 18th- and 19th-century woodworking tools, and a series of antique wooden doors and pieces of furniturePhoto: at Nejjarine MuseumPhoto: at Nejjarine MuseumPhoto: Photo: the well-known leather tannery in Fes... i bought here the best leather jacketPhoto: this is the oldest fondouk (hostel) inside the old medina of Fes... now being used as quarters of medina workers and tradersPhoto: at the ceramic factory in FesPhoto: you can find here the best ceramic wares...Photo: at the ceramic factory in Fes and learned the abc's of making these beautiful ceramic waresPhoto: Photo: on our way to Marrakech passing through the mid Atlas mountainPhoto: a beautiful scenery of the mid Atlas mountainPhoto: one of the landmarks of Marrakech, the Koutoubia MosquePhoto: Koutoubia Mosque is the largest mosque in Marrakech. Its name was derived from the Arabic al-Koutoubiyyin, meaning "librarian", since it used to be surrounded by sellers of manuscripts.Photo: at the Koutoubia MosquePhoto: at the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech with my Moroccan friends Ismail and YoussefPhoto: Koutoubia Mosque in MarrakechPhoto: Koutoubia Mosque is also the tallest structure in MarrakechPhoto: since it is the tallest structure in Marrakech, Koutoubia Mosque can be seen in most places in MarrakechPhoto: since it is the tallest structure in Marrakech, Koutoubia Mosque can be seen in most places in MarrakechPhoto: the beautiful Koutoubia Mosque at duskPhoto: the very popular square and market place in Marrakesh's old medina quarter called Djemaa El-FnaPhoto: Marrakech marketPhoto: Djemaa El-Fna remains the main square of Marrakesh used by locals and tourists. During the day it is predominantly occupied by orange juice stalls, youths with chained Barbary apes, water sellers in colourful costumes with traditional leather water-bags and brass cups, and snake charmers who will pose for photographs for tourists, etc. Here, Ismail is photographed with a snake.Photo: at the sides of the square are souks or traditional Marrakech marketsPhoto: the glowing Djemaa El-Fna at nightPhoto: as darkness falls, Djemaa El-Fna fills with dozens of food-stalls as the number of people on the square peaksPhoto: enjoying a walk at the squarePhoto: the busy souks at the side of Djemaa El-Fna in MarrakechPhoto: night scene at the squarePhoto: Photo: Photo: Photo: having our dinner at Marrakech version of "turo-turo"Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Bahia Palace, a palace and a set of gardens located in Marrakech which was built in the late 19th century. It comprised of a series of walled gardens, pavilions and courtyard structures arranged in various scales. The whole complex is quite large, covering eight hectares.Photo: at the Bahia Palace in MarrakechPhoto: this palace was intended to be the greatest palace of its time and now one of the most endearing of palaces to be found in Marrakesh widely known as "the resplendent"Photo: one of the interior courtyards of Bahia PalacePhoto: inside the Bahia PalacePhoto: the palace's interior design consists of carved stucco, carved and painted woodwork incorporating a form of polychrome mosaic known as zellij (or zellige), shiny ceramic tiles and topped by painted, inlaid woodwork ceilingsPhoto: at the Bahia Palace in MarrakechPhoto: at the Bahia Palace in MarrakechPhoto: at the Bahia Palace in MarrakechPhoto: inside the Bahia Palace is a private mosque used only by the grand officialPhoto: this older part of the palace includes an enormous court decorated with a central basin with the concubines dwelling in a series of surrounding roomsPhoto: this room is used to be the classroom for the children of the grand officialPhoto: part of the classroom for the children of the grand officialPhoto: behind me is a cubicle where the teacher used to stand while delivering his lectures for the children of the grand officialPhoto: Photo: exploring the Bahia PalacePhoto: Photo: these days, the Bahia Palace is still being used by the Moroccan government as a formal venue for receiving special guests and foreign dignitariesPhoto: Bahia Palace really beautifully portrayed the essence of the Islamic and Moroccan stylePhoto: Photo: Photo: at the Saadian Tombs in MarrakechPhoto: at the Saadian Tombs in MarrakechPhoto: The Saadian Tombs in Marrakech is the final resting place of Saadians (an Arabian dynasty who governed much of southern Morocco in the 16th and 17th centuries). was built by Sultan Ahmed al-Mansour for himself, his family and ancestors.Photo: In total nearly 200 Saadians are buried here and the tombs were sealed only to be rediscovered and restored by the Beaux-arts service in 1917.Photo: The Saadian Tombs are richly decorated with colored mosaics. Inside the mausoleum, the rooms are also beautifully decorated with brilliant domed ceilings, stalactite plaster work, intricate carving and marble pillars.Photo: at Saadian Tombs in MarrakechPhoto: The Kasbah Mosque in Marrakech, constructed in 1190, is probably the second-best-known mosque in Marrakech and it is also one of the biggest mosques. Hidden behind this mosque is the Saadian Tombs.Photo: at Jardin Majorelle, a 12-acre botanical garden and artist's landscape garden in Marrakech, Morocco owned by Yves Saint-Laurent and Pierre Bergé since 1980 and designed by the French artist Jacques Majorelle in the 1920s and 1930sPhoto: The garden has many fountains and a notable collection of cacti. It also hosts more than 15 bird species that are endemic to North Africa.Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: at the landmark for the fashion designer Yves Saint LaurentPhoto: Photo: Photo: The keynote colour on buildings, a vivid cobalt blue, offsets the multicoloured bougainvillea, pink geranium and orange nasturtiums.Photo: Photo: Photo: collection of cactiPhoto: Photo: the riad where we stayed in MarrakechPhoto: in our riad in MarrakechPhoto: Photo: Photo: Photo: