Africa Culture Moroccan Culture Morocco Travels

Morocco exploring- mosques, medinas & mint tea

Every country has a word that can be used to describe it. For example, Spain is passionate, India is colourful and Morocco…it’s enchanting. Exploring Morocco through its mosques, medinahs, food and landscape was an absolute sensory explosion for me. Snugly fitted on the western coast of Africa, it’s hard to believe that such a small country can be so diverse. If you have been wanting to go but haven’t been able to decide yet- let me take you through a photographic journey of what it was like for me.
Spoiler alert: You will definitely want to go after reading this article!

I have to confess that I didn’t take this trip on my own. As it was my first trip as an adult overseas (other than family visits to India), I did a guided tour organised by Intrepid travel. They are a company that I highly recommend, as they focus greatly on the exploring the local culture and investing part of their profits back into the local communities.

The photos that are included in this post are taken from that tour. For the sake of ease, this post is divided into 5 sections, each with its own set of photographs and related explanation:

Religious spaces in Morocco

Mosques, madressas (Islamic schools), mausoleums

Mosques, madressas (Islamic schools) and mausoleums have played an integral role in Morocco’s religious life and it is no wonder that Moroccans have traditionally invested a lot of effort in designing these spaces. The mosques range from very old and historic to very new; very grand to  very humble. They usually stand on their own, although madressas and mausoleums can also feature a mosque within their compound. Whatever is the case, their geometry and elegance always stands out for sure.

Mosques

Madressahs & mausoluems

Marinid architecture in focus

Throughout Morocco, the most stunning and unique examples of buildings I came across were from the Marinid dynasty. The Marinids were a Berber dynasty that ruled from 12th to 14th century in Morocco. Their buildings are characterised by elaborate carvings in plaster, zellij (tilework) and generous use of cedar wood. This amalgamation results in a resplendent form of architecture that is unlike anything I had ever witnessed. 

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4 Comments

  1. Awesome photos 🙂 I hope to go one day!

  2. Kristy says:

    Amazing! What was your favorite must do places and things?

    1. Hey Kristy!
      For architecture, I loved Hasan II mosque (Casablanca), the madressas (Meknes and Fes) and Bahia Palace (Marrakech)
      For shopping/ souqs, it was Fes and Marrakech
      But the highlight of my trip was no doubt walking through the villages and staying with a family for a couple of days. Just observing their simple lifestyle and partaking in it wherever possible- it was an experience I’d never had before! Trying to converse with them, spending time with them in the kitchen, their cowsheds etc. Their world is so far removed from what we are used to- they really make you believe that less is more 🙂 . I took a group tour with Intrepid, so it was easier for me to access rural Morocco that way.
      Kasbah Oudaia in Rabat and Volubilis (old ruined Roman city between Fes and Meknes- UNESCO heritage site) offer and different side of Morocco to see 🙂

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