Doorways in Essaouira, Morocco

A charming day trip out of Marrakech is to the seaside town of Essaouira. I found the doorways in the old part of town, fascinating for the colourful blue paint and the carved stone details.

Formerly known as Mogadir, Essaouria has been a port since the time of the Phoenicians, and was one of the major trading centres linking Africa with Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries when it was also known as the Port of Timbuktu.

I love the colour of this blue door even if it is roughly painted and a little worn. The bright colour of the half open blue door makes the eye wander over the curve of the arch and appreciate it all the more.

I had just passed the blue door in the image above when I came across this vividly painted yellow and blue window that reminded me of the fabulous colours of the Majorelle gardens back in Marrakech. Superimposing my Porte Ouvrant pendant, I am amused by the exotic play of shapes in the image that seems wonderfully Arabic in its exuberance.

A myriad of patterns in this great stone doorway with its carved 'stack of mountains' on each side creates a visual feast. The metal studs on the wooden panels outline a smaller, more traditional Arab door within two other frames to make it feel like a tunnel of openings.

The door is so important in the Arab world - the defining moment between the private, home life and the world out in the street. It was only after many trips to Morocco that I began to understand why I was so intrigued by doors in my note-books and why a jewel, inspired by them, was so essential to the Maroc Collection.

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