January 21, 2014

0977 MOROCCO (Souss-Massa-Drâa) - Aït Larbi Kasbah on Dadès River valley

A kasbah is a type of fortress (citadel) in the Islamic cities, built by local leaders to live in it, and as defense when the city was under attack. On the valley of Dadès River, which rises in the High Atlas and then turns south crossing through the Dadès Gorge, then westward between the High Atlas and Anti-Atlas mountain ranges, are many such kasbahs. One of them is Aït Larbi, located near of Dadès Gorge, not far from Boumalne Dades, a town situated at the edge of a desert plateau. Built in the late 19th century, it consists actually of three kasbahs: Aït Hamid, Aït Amer, and Aït Juia Ali. The landscape that surrounds further increases their artistic value, by providing one of the most spectacular in the region settings.

The three have very similar structures, with simple rectangular shape, and they attract attention by two common features. The first is the narrowness of the small windows (that barely exceed 15cm width), lacking of frames and grates, and placed only in the upper floors, the ground floor being stables for animals, with rooms for cows, mules, goats and sheep, but also for fodder. The other feature is its rich decoration, which isn't confined only to the top of the towers, as is usual in the region, but also extends to the top of the walls. The exterior decoration is achieved by creating figures based on small holes, depicting in this case, the schematic figures of roses, very frequently throughout the Dades valley, in the Mgoum and Todra, and in the Skoura oasis. The decor is complemented by elongated arches , which contain within them other decorative items, even in the arches of the towers.

About the stamp, dedicated to Solidarity Week, I wrote here.

Aït Larbiy "los dedos de mono" - Viajar por marruecos
La route des mille kasbahs - Roger Mimó

sender: Hanane (direct swap)
sent from Taroudant (Morocco), on 05.02.2013

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