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Rasta Gnawi
boston, ma Massachusetts USA
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7
comments.
badi3
07:39:27 AM Monday Oct 3, 2005


We went to Marakesh this summer and revisit qasr el badi3. I was really impressed with the place. It's still decaying slowly and I am not sure if there are any efforts to preserve it. The design, the fountains, the guest rooms, and especially the hammams. A true wonder. If I ever have the means, Iwould love to buy land and build something very similar to it. Four gardens in four quadrons, separated by two long pools with conduits that feed into the pools. A Hammam set up strangely enough in a fairly frontal/central location. But the hammam is this beautiful stone room with two tiled bassins, one for cold water and anothe for hot water. An intricate conduit systems runs between the basins, distributing the water around the room. The guest rooms were set in a long section on the side of the palace. Magnificent tile work and a fountain in each quarter. And what palace is complete without prisons. A dark labirynth still hides in the back of the palace, with room of various sizes. MAde me think that more well to-do prisoners could perhaps afford better prison quarters. Not sure.

I have seen before rederings of what the pyramids might have looked like a long time ago. I wonder if there are any renderings of the palace Badi3. It was sort of a very large scale version of my grand-parents' old house, which had a central yard in the middle of the house and rooms set around this courtyard in a rectangular design. A very nice place.

Any seen any renderings of old Moroccan structures?


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11:50 am    October 5, 2005

hudhud message
7
' "kullu man 3alayha fanin..." while it states a fact, might also have a little bit of defeatism in it.'
for some reason the word defeatism here reminded me of the expressions "allah ghalib", and the "la ghaliba illa allah" inscribed all over the alhambra.. ie no true loss unless allah is not on our side, only that would be true defeat.. a very strong statement that imbued the alhambra with a sense of invincibility, forever proud..
but it can also be positive to think of the verse since it reminds us of allah's eternal nature, and to hope we may someday see that beautiful face...
...just some ramblings.. :) "waqila ghlebni ramdane" ;-)
·

7:15 am    October 5, 2005

Rasta Gnawi message
6
I sense a little angst among the crowd. It's not so bad. I mean Badi3 might go some time, but there are other palaces that will take its place as monumental reminders of our history. Morocco does what it can within the confines of a large budget defict, a drought-stricken economy, a failing tourism industry, and a population growing increasing skeptical about its prospects.

This is reminding me a little of these three guys we ran accross while visiting al Badi3. There language indicated they were from the gulf, maybe S. Arabia, Kuwait, or some other country. The guy stood on the stair-steps of the guest quarters, looked down at the ruins with such contempt and said slowly and in a loud voice: "kullu man 3alaiha fanin wa yabqa wajhu rabbika dhu ljalali wa l'ikram."

I was rather annoyed by the scenario. Monuments should obviousely remind of how vulnerable we are against time. They should also remind us of how much we've accomplished over time. Just repeating "kullu man 3alayha fanin..." while it states a fact, might also have a little bit of defeatism in it.

Anyway. I won't get hung up on this. I loved the palace. Maybe someone some time might build a little recreation of the actual palace.


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1:23 pm    October 4, 2005

hudhud message
5
4
oh yes! I agree. It would've been awesome if that same structure had been re-used and maintained until our generation today. I just wanted to point out that the materials "looting" and recycling was widely practiced around the muslim world for centuries.
I think this also brings to light the concept of what is historical and worthy of preservation.. long ago the notion of preserving an old building didn't really exist, and maybe people of that time would laugh at our efforts today trying to "save" heritage sites and what we now consider historical buildings around the world....
Ruins are beautiful.. but yeah they're a sad yet touching reminder that "koulou man 3alayhaa faan"....
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12:45 pm    October 4, 2005

Adnane Ben. message
4
3
I see the point, yet I still feel they could have kept it intact and reused it for a concrete function. Or even better, they could have thought of us. But I think they did think of us.. they left us ruins to show us how stronger they were over the defeated dynasty. The only problem is that his very palace in Meknes probably stands partly in ruins now. There probably is a higher wisdom in the very nature of ruins, to show us everything eventually withers and dies - even Qasr Badi3.
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12:24 pm    October 4, 2005

hudhud message
3
2
"King Ismail in order to build his palace in Meknes was short of construction material so he ordered that Badi palace, a symbol of greatness of the old rival dynasty, be used as a source of materials, tiles, marble, doors, etc."

This re-use and recycling of materials from older palaces, and especially from structures that were built by, and symbolized, the previous ruling dynasties of a country/empire is actually a common practice since ancient times. The Romans may have been among the first to practice this form of building, and it was widely adopted in subsequent periods by various rulers -- partly because it was economical and facilitated easier, faster construction of buildings (obviously the materials were already there, and if the previous ruler has been defeated that structure likely may fall into ruin) and partly because it was enormously symbolic. Think about it: you're taking gorgeous columns, pillars, and other pieces that once stood for the beauty and glory of a former enemy that has been defeated, or rival leader's majestic structures, and you are re-appropriating the same materials to be used in your new glorious, majestic buildings to symbolize your power, your victory, and your success. They give a lot of symbolic meaning, as well as beauty.
Interesting thing to know is that many of the Amir's throughout Islamic history have continued this practice. Has anyone here visited the Dome of the Rock? If you look carefully at the columns inside, you'll notice they are unequal in sizes and heights, and of different designs. Some of them were placed on large square bases to make up for the unequal heights, and provide stronger support.

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10:29 am    October 4, 2005

Adnane Ben. message
2
Qassr al-Badi3.. The magnificient Palace, unfortunately we will never know how magnificient it was unless some serious architects, anthropologists roll their sleeves and solve the puzzle.. they've done it for many structures, why not this one? Tells something about the priorities of Morocco - one of the priorities is called the "who-cares" group, and this palace just happens to fall right in there. Moroccan officials have a hard time maintaining even the current structures, buildings and roads let alone ancient ruins. His majesty the king was visiting Oujda this end of summer, and the officials in a count of 3 weeks remodeled old walls, renovated hospitals, revived gardens, planted flowers and trees and traced roads. Well, if we were to ever see the magnificient Palace again it would be if King Mansoor came back to life to revisit his palace!!

Also, researching what brought the palace to ruins besides time, nature and isolation, you find that King Ismail in order to build his palace in Meknes was short of construction material so he ordered that Badi palace, a symbol of greatness of the old rival dynasty, be used as a source of materials, tiles, marble, doors, etc. How genius!!

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11:03 am    October 3, 2005

hudhud message
1
Rasta, if you look up historical architecture and planning or even archaeology research done on Islamic urban design, you will find much more than simply plans and sketches. It's truly a fascinating subject. My guess is someone may have discussed Qasr alBadi3 in their research... just a matter of finding it!

Here's one interesting resource:
www.muslimheritage.com

They have quite a few articles posted about Islamic art, architecture, city design, etc. including some specifically on North African and Andalusian examples. Other good sources or references: various architecture and urban design and research institutes, especially those in North Africa, Spain, France, and UK since they've done lots of research in this area. I'd look up the schools and find out what areas the prof's do research in, hopefully one of them would know more about this particular palace. Also, you mentioned the baths were significant here: that's another angle from which to research the palace.
If I come across anything I'll post here.. I love this kind of stuff! :-)

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Rasta Gnawi's notes (63)
 
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