THE IMPERIAL ROAD
Moulay Idriss and Volubilis
Moulay Idriss, capital of Zerhoun, mausoleum, nerve center, is better than a symbol or a relic: the reality of a faith.
A farm on its hill, a terroir whose elegant lines have nothing to envy to Tuscany.
N'Zala des Beni Amar.
No, it's not Moulay Idriss, but it's very close, a few kilometers away, in such a photogenic detour from the Zerhoun massif, one of the wonders of Morocco. This important village seems to come out of the olive tree (there are more than three hundred thousand in this mountain cultivated as a garden). End of January morning, and its light so subtle. A man plows everything that can be plowed between the trunks, not a square meter is lost. It also looks like Aladdin's lamp: it is not a genius that appears, but a village.
In the morning mists of February, an exceptional position, where will play an essential part of the history of Morocco. Once upon a time, there was a prince from the east ...
The roofs of the Moulay Idriss mausoleum
Jacques Majorelle painted in 1928 "Moulay Idriss, Djebel Zehroun or the Sanctuary of Moulay Idriss". The Holy City was forbidden to non-Muslims. Little has changed.
The first courtyard of the Moulay Idriss mausoleum
The circular minaret which dominates the medersa of the city of Moulay Idriss is unique in Morocco. Of recent construction since it dates from 1939. It is covered with green earthenware on which are inscribed in a stylized script, verses from the Koran
The holy city of Moulay Idriss.
The ruins of Volubilis and the city of Moulay Idriss
On the way to Meknes
The Moulay Ismail mausoleum, the prince of Tafilalet, who became emperor, founder of the two kingdoms of Fez and Marrakech. In the city born of his will.
Courtyard of the tomb of Moulay Ismael, a Muslim holy place, decorated with glazed earthenware mosaics. Sultan Moulay Ismael (1646-1727) maintained a harem in which nearly 600 women succeeded each other, giving him nearly 700 children.
In front of the imperial bab el-Khémis, the Thursday door with decorations of black corner pieces framed by green zeligiges.
Porte Bab Mansour El Aleuj, the most monumental in Morocco, the mark of the imperial Meknes
It is not without reason that the largest river in Morocco is called "Mother of Spring": the early melting of snow, gushes all the waters of Morocco that cascade towards the Atlantic or the Sahara.
To capture the presence of water, I had to install the device on a stand to obtain a pastel effect, because the light is dim. It was then that I heard the clapping of a horse's hooves: a teenager was trotting. I put away my equipment to let it pass. He looked after his horse, his fortune. With quick cowboy gestures.
The road to this oasis with a very assertive character, a province in itself, gives a small idea of the infinite.
In its sea of palms, between two worlds. Its water distribution regime is a model of its kind.
When water is the most precious commodity, its height is measured in millimeters, and the numbers are not disputed. A woman dowries hours of irrigation calculated in minutes. Water is gold, blue. And Figuig lives only on its twenty-one pools that store its future.
We do not repair, we build further, often very close especially when the topsoil is so scarce.
The palm grove and its mountains which provide essential water.
The octagonal Figuig mosque. built in the 11th century
The palm grove in its last rays of sun
On the road to Er Rachidia, the last oasis before reaching a very mineral world.