Morocco offers a wealth of culture, tradition, and history connected to Islam. Many Islamic customs, laws, and practices have greatly influenced the country’s people and culture. In turn, this has created a global and distinctly local way of living. If you have an eye for detail, you’ll see these Islamic elements at play, from the country’s buildings to its products.
If you’re planning to visit Morocco and immerse yourself in its vibrant, artsy lifestyle, you should look out for these creative wonders.
Moroccan architecture incorporates art styles from different cultures. One of its oldest influences come from the Berbers, who are the descendants of the pre-Arab inhabitants of North Africa. Architecture from the Berber community includes Kasbahs or red earth castles. Apart from these impressive stronghold fortresses, traditional Berber building materials, handmade bricks, and rough wooden beams inspire modern Moroccan artists as well.
Al-Andalus, an Islamic stronghold during the Middle Ages, paved the way for Andalusian culture – another cornerstone of modern Moroccan art. It combines Arab and Berber influences with southern Spain’s Hispano-Roman roots. After all, Roman architecture and Arab-inspired decoration were prominent during this period.
One of Modern Moroccan art’s lasting cornerstones came during the establishment of the French Protectorate over Morocco in 1912. It took inspiration from the European art deco style, which included Moroccan decorative flourishes. These influences are still seen in the country’s buildings today. Its majestic hotels, for instance, feature 20th-century art deco and elegant Moroccan decorations, while Riads (guest houses) combine traditional domestic architecture with stylish designs.
Travelers can find some of the world’s most diverse and famous art museums in the city of Marrakech. These include the Museum of Marrakech, Tiskiwin Museum, Heritage Museum, and Dar Di Said which displays items from Morocco’s trading past as well as other art pieces throughout the ages. You’ll be amazed at the European-Moroccan art they feature.
Jardin Majorelle is another must-visit if you want to experience Moroccan heritage alongside fantastic artworks. The landscape artist garden features a wide range of exhibits, and it even has the Museum of Berber Culture on-site. For a unique museum experience, visit the David Bloch Gallery for modern painting and sculptures from Moroccan and global artists.
Artists have captured Morocco’s diverse landscape and culture through various art styles. These forms include authentic Moroccan rugs, ceramics, sculptures, and calligraphy. But be warned: you might have a hard time picking the best piece for your art collection because of how beautiful these pieces are.
Vibrant woven rugs, including overdyed vintage carpets, are popular among natives and tourists. Village marketplaces sell many of these items. Moroccan galleries and markets also offer fancy ceramics with fascinating mosaic patterns. They even have wood and furniture with stylish and artistic carvings. Sculptures, paintings, calligraphy, and other traditional art forms are available at marketplaces, as well.