I am not a great artist, yet I do appreciate things of beauty. Whether it be natural landscapes, or thoughtful and creative examples of human expression. There are many wonderful examples of both in Europe, but in style and “exotic” quality, I really found Morocco had a lot to offer.
In today’s travel post, I am going to focus on some of the under appreciated aspects, many going unnoticed in European architecture: the doors and windows. Many of these that I saw in Marrakech were not the standard rectangular parallel posts and lintel construction, but ones that incorporated screening, rounded and peaked arches, and decorative paneling.
In the labyrinth of narrow allies and passageways in the old city, I was able to use the distinctive features of these designs to navigate along the almost uniformly pink walls. Some of these were augmented by spectacular tile-work, but most were purely identifiable by the patterned screens and arches.
The windows, as well as the doors, offered amazing diversity, and enhanced the arabesque feel of the experience. Some of these has woven and carved screens, and others various patterns of coloured glass.
In the close allies and in the courtyards of riads and restaurants there we wonderfully crafted archways, whether as passage entries, or as features of fountains and even as “bathroom” fittings.
These artist expressions are not only beautiful, but practical aspects of the architecture, serving as landmarks and in some cases I am told in regulating the circulation of air to moderate the temperature of the areas. For me though, they made for a culturally rich North African experience. [They also make for some great travel photos].
I will blog on the wonderful Moroccan tiles in a future post.