There are various styles that are found in Moroccan architecture. Let’s have a look at them.
In architectural terms, they are known as outré passé arches. These arches look like a horseshoe since they curve inwards at their widest point. This design is one of the most common elements that are used in Moorish Spain and Northern African styles of architecture.
The use of many colored small tiles that are used to form various geometric patterns is a striking feature and can be seen in a number of old buildings. The laying of these multicolored patterned tiles is known as zellij tiling. In fact a large piece of the tile is first created and then hand cut into smaller tiles for the exquisite impression that it gives.
This type of plaster was earlier used conventionally for the bathhouses. This plaster was easily able to counter the heat and the moisture that were generated in the public bathhouses. The walls were first treated with a powdered limestone and were set. Once this happened, it was polished with white stones and then painted over with glazed egg whites. Further, it was again polished with the local black soap that was manufactured from the olives. The final result made the surface extremely soft to touch.
This is one of the more decorative features of the beautiful Moroccan architecture. The plaster that is carved can cover the domes and entire surfaces of the monuments. The designs are geometric as well as curvilinear. The craftsmen execute the beautiful designs while the plaster is still wet. When the plaster sets, the designs can be appreciated by whoever lays eyes on them.
The carved woodwork
Designs are quite common to the plaster as well as wood. The Arabic inscriptions are carved into the wood and are religious and sacred in nature. The Arabic inscriptions are inscriptions from the Koran. These are used for decorative elements and also for imparting knowledge and education to the followers of Islam.
The square minarets
The square designs that can be seen in the Moroccan minarets can also be traced to the Ummayed rulers of the Spain. These rulers were of Syrian origin and were also influenced by the Syrian Christians and their architecture.
Courtyards are a distinctive feature
Usually all monuments and houses have a straight façade without any windows in them. The courtyards that were built inside the houses served to cool the house and also acted as ventilators. They also helped the women to come out and relax and shielded them away from the prying eyes of strange men.
Fountains and basins are found in homes, monuments and mosques are integral to the furniture. Also the provision of water in the dry climate is also seen as a charitable act.
Pigeonholes that have been found all over the city is actually remnants of scaffolding that were used for erecting the walls of the monuments.
Filed Under: About Morocco