This picture was taken fairly early in my 2010 trip to Morocco, and every rounded doorway and sun-bleached wall was new and exciting. The zillij tile was, and still is, overwhelmingly exotic.

Our visit to the mausoleum of Moulay Ismail was our first visit to a non-ruinous holy place, which reflected the imperial city’s role as capital in the seventeenth century. It is also one of the few holy places non-Muslims can easily visit. Moulay Ismail had incredibly lofty ambitions, he made overtures to the French throne in an attempt to marry off one of his daughters, for which he received some rather lovely grandfather clocks, but no offers of marriage. To access the Moulay’s final resting area, you pass through a lovely courtyard. Sheltered from the light breezes outside, it was a balmy 35C at 11am, in October, practically winter by Moroccan standards.

Meknes Morocco mausoleum moulay ismail

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