Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Badia Palace


This is the Badia Palace. Well, part of it. I don't have a lens wide enough to show you the whole thing at once, so you'll have to be satisfied with pieces.

Pretty Nice Picture.jpg

The palace was built under the direction of Ahmed Al Mansour Ad-dahbi of the Saadien dynasty during the sixteenth century.


Apparently, it used to be pretty spectacular. The walls were covered in marble, and the courtyard was full of pools. Moulay Ismail had the marble removed to decorate his palace in Meknes during the seventeenth century. The pools are now filled with orange trees. (Brahim dared me to crawl down and get one of the oranges. I declined for the following reasons: I wasn't sure it was legal, and I wasn't sure I could climb back out of the pool/orange orchard.)


The palace had a prison, and part of it was open to visitors like us! (Again, I have no idea what the green spots are. I tried to remove them using Photoshop, but it was too tedious, so I gave up caring. It happens.)


The creepiest part of the prison is that it was underground. The only light (before they installed the tourist-friendly light bulbs) came in from grated holes in the ceiling. Definitely not a place I would want to spend any significant time.


The palace is currently home to storks. Lots of them.


I'm slightly ashamed to admit that I spent most of my time looking for opportunities to take pictures of these birds.


Carrie and I also tried to explain the legend of storks delivering babies. Turns out, it sounds pretty stupid when you try to explain it to grown men who have never before heard it...


I was dying for this bird to turn around and face me! I even switched lenses for her (him?). I stood underneath the nest for an embarrassingly long time before deciding that the stork hated me.


I like this stork picture because the stork is roosting on top of a minaret. A minaret is a mosque tower. The speaker you see near the bottom of the picture is used to call Muslims to prayer five times a day.


There! This may not have been exactly the shot I was waiting for, but it's one that made my time at the Badia Palace worthwhile.

No comments: