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Morocco : Glossary

Berber

Indigenous people of Morocco, they often lead nomad and simple lifestyles.

Hammam

The Moroccan answer to a Turkish bath. is a sauna and massage followed by hot and cold rooms. It is an import part of Islamic society and often the buildings are impressive structures. You will begin in the cold room and work your way through to a larger warm room before ending up in the hot or steam room. The whole process is finalised with a massage and soaping in the warm room before relaxing with some mint tea or coffee.

Imperial cities

Morocco has 4 imperial cities; Marrakech, Fes, Rabat and Meknes, they were built to impress, with many beautiful buildings and waterways with detailed stunning handiwork. A good route for a holiday is to combine all four cities on a circular trip from Marrakech that covers much of the northern area of the country and its history.

Kasbahs

The Kasbah is a fortress, usually attached to or along side the Medina city walls and would have been built at approximately the same time. Originally in the 10th century they would accommodate the army but later became palaces and homes to the King or Sultan of that town.

Maison d'hotes

Guesthouses that are often riads or villas recently renovated to accommodate tourists.

Medina

The old city often encase by a tall ochre wall. More recently it has been used to refer to the Arab part of town.

Palmeries

An area with many date palms and other fruit and vegetable plants, often resembling an oasis in a predominantly dry area.

Pasha

High official or prince of the area.

Pise

The building material used by many Moroccans, it is a combination of sun-dried mud or clay and straw. It can been seen in Kasbah and Medina walls.

Riad

An old traditional Islamic town house located within the Medina walls. These town houses often have few exterior windows or doors and most of the rooms and windows open to a central large courtyard.

Souk

The central market place and one of the essential parts of any Moroccan town, usually there is a mosque in the middle.

Zellij

Brightly painted ceramic tiles used in mosaics and to decorate buildings.


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