Posts tagged ‘Marrakech’

Morocco: Re-capped

It’s becoming a bit of a tradition now for me to re-post all the photos I’ve published from our latest trip in one gallery of images. I quite like doing it because it acts as a useful photo-blogging “full-stop” to indicate that I’ve finished with one set of images (published over a number of posts in the last few weeks and months) and that I’m now moving on to something else. It also of course gives visitors to my blog an easy way to catch-up and review all the images I’ve posted of the trip in one convenient post.

As I see no reason to break with tradition now, here is my final post from our recent-ish mini tour of Morocco, a gallery of all the images that I’ve posted on this subject over the past few weeks.

One final thing, because I don’t have any festive seasonal shots to share with you this year, I’m going to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. The support, encouragement and inspiration I glean from the photo community on WordPress never ceases to amaze me, so here is a big heartfelt thanks to everyone who has visited or followed my blog throughout 2015……it really is much appreciated.

© Mark Simms Photography (2015)

Jardin Majorelle

Jacques Majorelle (1886-1962) was a French painter who first visited Morocco in 1917, invited by the French colonial government of the time. In 1923, seduced by the “charms” of Marrakech, he decided to live there. He purchased a vast palm grove that would become the Jardin Majorelle that can be visited today.

In 1931, Majorelle commissioned an Art Deco style artist’s studio to be built (which you can just see at the end of the path in the second image below) and had it painted in the now famous “Majorelle Blue”. Around it, he designed a garden composed of exotic plants and rare species, collected during his travels around the world. He opened his garden to the public in 1947, but after his death in 1962, it fell into abandon.

In 1980, the famous French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, acquired the property and with his partner (Pierre Berge) set about restoring and developing the gardens. After Yves Saint Laurant’s death in 2008, Pierre Berge set up the Jardin Majorelle Foundation to manage and maintain the gardens for the enjoyment of future generations.

© Mark Simms Photography (2015)

Bahia Palace

Built in the 1890’s by a powerful grand vizier, the Bahia Palace in Marrakech isn’t particularly large, but its interior decoration of zellij tiling, stucco plaster-work and carved/painted cedar-wood is nevertheless beautiful. It’s not difficult to see why the Riad style complex of interconnecting courtyards, private rooms and passageways stirred such feelings of jealousy in Abdel Aziz, the ruling sultan, that he had the palace stripped and looted upon the death of the grand vizier.

© Mark Simms Photography (2015)

Saadian Tombs

As the ruling dynasty in Morocco for much of the 16th and 17th centuries, the Saadians were noted for their extravagant tastes. Their tombs in Marrakesh, which were only re-discovered in the 1920’s, are testament to this fact with plenty of ornate decoration: carved cedar, stucco work and colourful mosaic tiling.

© Mark Simms Photography (2015)

Koutoubia Mosque

The Koutoubia Mosque is one of Marrakech’s oldest buildings, dating back to the 12th century. It’s minaret formed the blueprint for the Giralda in Seville, which I posted about a couple of years ago.

Unfortunately, as with nearly all mosques in Morocco, non-Muslims are not allowed to enter the Koutoubia. To be honest I found this mildly annoying……we’ve visited mosques in Cairo, Jordan, Istanbul and Old Delhi before now, without any of the restrictions that apply in Morocco.

Koutoubia Mosque, Marrakech, Morocco, North Africa

Koutoubia Mosque, Marrakech, Morocco, North Africa

Koutoubia Mosque, Marrakech, Morocco, North Africa

© Mark Simms Photography (2015)

Souks of Marrakech

The souks are the beating heart of Marrakech. This labyrinth of alleyways and small squares cover much of the northern half of the medina (or old town). It’s a real hive of activity with thousands of market traders, stall holders, craftsmen and workshops all vying for space and attention.

It’s a fascinating place to wander around, but as a tourist it can also be a bit of an endurance test – you will get lost and you will get hassled. But if you can stay patient, try to maintain a sense of humour and keep your wits about you then the experience will be rewarding: 

© Mark Simms Photography (2015)

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