GATEWAY TO THE SOUS

Carnet de voyage de Marrakech à Agadir, Maroc. Jacques Bravo

The capital of the South (Marrakech) is so sure of its charm that it can afford to offer you another trip. Because this ability to open up to other worlds is also the secret of the Red City. Supreme planet of a constellation. It has twelve doors, you have to take advantage of it. In the narrowest sense, the Sous is the valley of the wadi of the same name which benefits abundantly from the snow from the summits when it melts, forming nourishing arteries. In the real sense, it is a province with a unique character, whose contrasts are complex. Formerly, it was the sugar basket of Morocco, when the long canes greened there; Today, it is still a garden whose irrigation ensures its abundance.

 
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Tizi-n-Test pass.

February brings all the flowers. The almond trees, the first, transform the valley into an immense bouquet that falls from the sky. Each turn of the winding lane brings an unexpected spectacle. It is the enchanted road of Sous which we never want to see the end: exactly the place where we want to stay. The Test is not a passage, it is a magical stay. And at the bottom flows a river ...

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Tizi-n-Test pass.

Each turn offers a balance over a village.

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Tizi-n-Test pass.

And at the bottom flows a river ...

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Tizi N'Test.

If spring is early, it is very short, summer often too long. Mountain farmers have developed terracing techniques that have nourished people for centuries.

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Tizi N'Test.

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Tizi N'Test.

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Tizi N'Test.

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The Tizi N'Test rises like a snake unrolls its rings to offer a last panoramic view before diving towards the Sous.

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Tizi N'Test.

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Tizi N'Test.

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Tizi N'Test.

A unique route that can recall the most spectacular Pyrenean valleys by its virtuosity and attention to detail. From Marrakech, we bury ourselves in the Ouirgane valley; and Asni is a friendly gateway. Then we gradually abandon the asphalt.

We are in another world which was that of the powerful Almohades, severe conquerors who nevertheless built the Koutoubia and the Hassan tower!

Tinmel is there to remind us.

 

 
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T he famous mosque, restored but not revisited, on the left bank of a river that still sparkles, is as it was in the 12th century, embodying the grandeur of a dynasty animated by an invincible faith. Placed in a case of terraces which tame the reliefs and mark the strength of a peasant work, just as invincible.

Perfect expression of Morocco.

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Tinmel.

The horseshoe, trefoil, lobed, and stalactite arches are varied and very elegant. The remarkable floral decoration, especially in the capitals which are of a new style and announce the wonders of the XIVth century Marinids. The three stalactite domes are the first built in Morocco, and are undoubtedly the most beautiful.

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Tinmel.

The mihrab "of great nobility" marks the direction of Mecca, an essential orientation. He is "capped" by the minaret, an exceptional arrangement in Muslim art.

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Tinmel.

Detail

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Tinmel.

Nine naves of five spans each constitute the mosque proper, and two naves run along the courtyard: they cover an area of 48 mx 45 m.

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Tinmel.

The mosque built around 1120, by Ibn Toumert, founder of the Almohad dynasty, which will restore Islam to the Maghreb. In a sublime site, it is one of the oldest monuments of Morocco.