Monday, February 27, 2017

Architectural Beauty In Morocco: Brilliantly Crafted Ancient Structures

The ancient world was a time of great artistic illustriousness. Kings, queens, and religious leaders set out their vision for incredible empires. Armies, financial powers and cities were constructed to stand the test of time and the ones that did are seen today as wondrous treasures that add to the unique cultures in which they came from. The buildings that were important to the leaders of their time were built with passion and artistic flair. The incredible talent used in the creation of these architectural wonders was hard to come by so they made sure these buildings were built to last, and because of this, we still have many of those magnificent buildings today.

Morocco is a gold mine for beautiful architectural pieces. If you love the sacred feel of ancient buildings, visual history, or just love sucking on eye candy, you'd better make room for Morocco on your bucket list!

1) Ben Youssef Madrasa

eatswords - Flickr

Mark Heard - Flickr
eatswords - Flickr
Exquisite art fills every space of every wall in this masterpiece called Ben Youssef Madrasa. Intricate designs boggle the mind as you try to imagine what was going through the artists' heads as they carved these walls. A courtyard lays in the heart of the building. It's diamond patterned pool is surrounded by geometrical designs that would baffle even the most educated mathematicians! Not much more is needed to be said, the images speak for themselves.

2) Portuguese Cistern

Martin Burrow - Flickr
Milamber's portfolio - Flickr

Axel Rouvin - Flickr
Built just over 500 years ago, the flawlessness and brilliant design make this structure look almost brand new. A beam of light shines in at a certain time of day, adding to the sacred feel of the sight. A thin layer of water puddles across the floor creating a mirror reflection of the ceiling throughout the cistern. Several movie scenes have been filmed here because of it's almost divine looking nature.

3) Hassan Tower

Werner Bayer - Flickr - Flickr
Chris Martin - Flickr

The people native to the Moroccan land at the time of the 12th century had huge aspirations for the Hassan tower, aiming to name it the largest minaret in the world! Unfortunately, the structure was never completed and now remains as a constant reminder of humanities greatness, even 1,000 years ago. The tower is about 44 meters tall which is only half of it's intended height!  Adjacent to the tower is a mosque also intended to be the largest in the world and also incomplete. The top of the tower would've acted as a place for the muezzin to call to prayer all the people at the mosque. Today it serves as a gorgeous tourist attraction for thousands of people each year. Not the intended use of the structure, but it'll do.

4) Almoravid Koubba ( Koubba Ba'adiyn)

Holly Hayes - Flickr
Chuck Burgess - Flickr
UncleBucko - Flickr

Next to the Museum of Marrakech lays Almoravid Koubba, a structural fascination built by the Almoravid dynasty in 1117. After several renovations throughout the centuries, it was rediscovered in 1948 and excavated out from under one of the Ben Youssef Mosque's buildings in 1952. During it's prime it was a facility filled with showers, toilets, and even faucets to be used as a sort of cleansing before praying at the Almoravid mosque. The geometrical brilliance of Almoravid Koubba is sure to take your breath away.

5) Taourirt Kasbah

Ashley Bayles - Flickr

Ronald Woan - Flickr

Martin and Kathy Dady - Flickr
A citadel the size of a small town lays abandoned and ready to explore just outside the not-so-abandoned city of Ouarzazate. Built fairly recently in the 19th century by a wealthy and powerful family, Taourirt Kasbah is a treasure to the Morrocan people and tourists. Fit with nearly 300 rooms and intricate pathways, it's not uncommon to get lost within the structure. A guide is a necessity if you actually plan on finding your way out of the citadel!

Morroco is a culturally abundant country, to say the least. There is much to explore here and for the lovers of architecture and ancient history, it is simply a country you must visit. If for whatever reason you find yourself in Morocco be sure to check out these locations, you won't regret it!

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