Colours of Marrakech

Colours of Marrakech

There is something fascinating about the way the Moroccan sky meets the ochre silhouettes of Marrakech’s buildings. As the placement of the sun changes during the day, the intensity of the contrast changes too. My favourite contrast-time was the early afternoon on days when the sun shone bright and soft clouds made the sky look like the floor of the ocean.

The Saadien Tombs located in the old town (medina) of Marrakech, Morocco. The royal necropolis was built during the reign of sultan Ahmed al-Mansur in the late 16 th century.

I feel like I have never seen a more vivid blue than in the streets of Marrakech. Scarfs and shoes compete with the deep blue of the sky; doors and walls glow in intense cobalt blue. The uniquely breath-taking shade of blue that may surprise you as you turn into the next street is said to be inspired by the indigo-dyed garments of the Touareg people, a group of Berber people who are the first inhabitants of North Africa.

The Medersa Ben Youssef in Marrakech, Morocco. It was founded during the Marinid dynasty, which ruled from 1196 to 1465 AD, and served as a centre for learning and worship.The buildings that can be visited nowadays were constructed by the Saadian Sultan Abdallahal-Ghalib in the 16 th century.

Covering an area of 1,680 square meters, the Medersa Ben Youssef feels like a grand breathing canvas covered in filigree wood carvings and detailed mosaics. The artistic elements are of geometric, floral and calligraphic nature, while there are no figurative representations of human beings and animals. I wonder what it was like to live in these buildings, when students from all over the country came here to learn and pray and think. Did they feel the same excitement and worries that we experience moving away from home to study? I can only imagine that the beauty of these walls, with their calligraphic Qur’an verses inspired many stanzas of profound poetry.

The outer walls of the Saadien Tombs in Marrakech, Morocco.

By Natalie Kreppner


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