Safi, Morocco


SAFI. – La Grande Mosquée et la Rade
[The Grand Mosque and the Roadstead (harbour)]

Google Street View.

Built in the 12th century by the Almoravids as a place of worship, the Great Mosque of Safi has had a turbulent history. It has seen different civilizations come and go, it has been destroyed, rebuilt, and fallen into disrepair again, and for a period even served as a horse stable. Now, nearly nine centuries later, this important part of the Moroccan cultural heritage has been renovated and returned to its former glory. Just one mystery remains: why is the minaret separate from the rest of the mosque?
Marocopedia (video)

(Via Google Tranlate)
In the 15th century, Safi opened up to European trade. The Portuguese even appreciated its natural harbor so well that they seized it in 1488, by a combined operation, by land and by sea, mounted from their base in Mogador (Essaouira). Around the city, they raise a wall and build a fortress by the sea. But this occupation does not last long, because from 1541, the Portuguese who have just lost the city of Agadir evacuate Safi voluntarily. This does not interrupt trade with Europe, which on the contrary is intensifying. The French have their part in it. After 1541, the city played a major role in Morocco, as one of the safest and largest seaports in the country. . . . After Sultan Mohammed ben Abdallah built the city of Mogador , he prohibited foreign trade in all Moroccan ports except his newly built city. Consequently, Safi ceased to play a leading role in Moroccan trade.
Wikipedia.

Gate into the Grand Socco, Tangier, Morocco


TANGER. Portes de la ville conduisant au grand Soko
[City gates leading to the Grand Socco]
c.1910
Publisher: A. Banzaquen, Tangier

Google Street View.

The once bustling marketplace called the Grand Socco, is located in the middle of Tangier. Not so long ago it was filled with traders and buyers, snake charmers, musicians and creative storytellers looking for interested listeners. It is still busy, noisy and congested, but has now become a meeting point and a good central point for travelers who want to explore the city. The word Socco, or souk, means market and even though the Grand Socco in Tangier is not strictly a market place any more, visitors will still find a few traders and vendors here. . . . The Grand Socco is where old Tangier and new Tangier meet. One side of the city has wide streets and modernized buildings which eventually taper off at the point where the market divides the city. Visitors will then be greeted by narrow streets that wind their way through the original and historic side of Tangier.
Morocco.com

Snake Charmer, Tangier, Morocco


TANGER L’arabe a la couleuvre
c.1910
Published: A. Benzaquen, Tangier

I thought this might just be a man with a snake, but the round thing behind the child looks like a bendir (frame drum) commonly seem in photos of Moroccan snake charmers.

Snake charmers
From Wikipedia Commons.

Turns out that Mohamed makes his living as a snake charmer. Never having met a snake charmer, we decided to hang around awhile in hopes of seeing him in action. The key, he said, is looking in a location with a lot of rat holes because the snakes hunt rats. Snake hunters dig into the rat holes hoping to find a Goldilocks Snake sniffing around the rat house.
Secrets of a Moroccan Snake Charmer

The Snake Charmers of Marrakech

City Walls, Tiznit, Morocco


TIZNIT (Maroc). – Le Remparts
1920s

Google Maps (general location/town)
Might be Bab el Maader (here)

South of the Souss Valley and beyond the western end of the Anti Atlas, Tiznit is an old walled medina town surrounded by modern development. It was originally the site of a cluster of kasbahs, which were encircled in the 19th century by some 5km of pisé wall. It quickly became a trade centre and remains the provincial capital, a central point between the coastal towns and the Anti Atlas.

In 1881 Sultan Moulay Al-Hassan (1873-94) chose Tiznit as a base from which to assert his authority over the rebellious Berber tribes of the south. To do this, he built the town’s perimeter walls. Jewish silversmiths were moved into the town and gave it a reputation as a centre for silver. However, Tiznit remained embroiled in local sedition. In 1912, it was a base for resistance to the 1912 treaty that turned Morocco into a French and Spanish protectorate. This resistance movement was led by El-Hiba, the so-called “Blue Sultan” from the Western Sahara, who earned his nickname for always wearing his Saharawi veil.
Tiznit.org

The city was restored in 1882 by the Alawite sultan Hassan the first who has endowed it with a long wall still encircling the old Medina. Tiznit is a line of ramparts 7 km long and 8 m high, flanked by 56 towers and pierced by five historic gates.
Moroccan Tourism Infos

The old Medina of Tiznit is enclosed by a wall of five historic gates: Bab Aglou, Bab el Khemis, Bab Targa, Bab el Maader and Bab Oulad Jerrar. All of these gates are of Alawite tradition and strongly resemble those of the city of Essaouira.
Wikipedia