The history of Morocco is full of events due to the succession of several civilizations and dynasties.
Among the remains of this turbulent past are the RIADs, traditional Moroccan houses that are a kind of Muslim representation of paradise. These buildings are located in the ramparts of the ancient medinas of the imperial cities of Morocco.
The history of RIADs
The origin of RIADs goes back several decades but their current conception is directly inspired by the Muslim vision of paradise. Indeed, these traditional houses have been designed to offer the inhabitants a setting inspired by the Eden cited in the Koran with a tree-lined garden, fruit trees and shrubs and fountains.
The first RIADs were built during the Saâdian era under the reign of Sultan Ahmed El Mansour who built the Al Badii Palace in Marrakech.
These houses are characterized by their architecture inspired by Arab-Andalusian and Moorish art with arches, domes and mosaics. The imposing doors have been meticulously crafted by craftsmen with different materials, including copper and wood.
The ancient medinas of the imperial cities are all home to RIADs that bear witness to the country’s glorious past.
Marrakech, Salé, Fez, Rabat, Essaouira… are all cities that still preserve these architectural jewels. Some have even turned into Moorish restaurants and coffee shops.
The layout of the RIADs
Emblematic of Moroccan history, RIADs never cease to fascinate the whole world with their unique charm. One of the major characteristics of RIADs is their layout, which recalls the old Amazigh buildings. All the rooms in the house are built around a patio that houses a garden, a fountain and plantations.
All rooms have only one access from the inner courtyard.