June 17, 2011

Broken Down Palace | Morocco

We stumbled upon a doorway on which a rustic old sign said “Palais - tours.” Inside sat a Moroccan woman who offered to show us her home - a former palace which lay in a sad state of ruin.

The aura of the place was immediately felt - this was once the grand home of a Arabic nobleman but it had long since been tossed aside and forgotten as it was passed through the generations. A place of this size would cost too much to upkeep so the family lived in the areas which were habitable - 3 of the 6 large areas, with their personal belongings shoved in a corner. It was very dark, damp and dusty and it gave me the creeps. This broken down palace was in dire need of some TLC, a slick of paint and about £1 million could revive it to its former glory.

There was beauty to be found in the intricate details however, as I’m quickly finding to be the secret of Morocco. The tiling, though most of it falling away, was perfectly placed, the carvings of the doorways were mesmerising and one could be entertained for hours by simply looking up at the patterned ceiling.
Our guide even looked sad and in need of a hug, though she cheekily tried to overcharge us for her “tour” - luckily the man of the house returned a soon as the payment situation got awkward. “Pay what you want”, he said. 40 dirham (about $US 4) later we were gone.