The Term Médina (in Arabic madina) , means old city in contrast to the modern (European style) city. All great Moroccan cities have two facets: the medina or traditional town and the modern town. In a medina, at the heart of each district, are the mosque and the medersa and houses, built close to each other, creating many labyrinthine streets. Medinas are places for traders and craftsmen with souks or kissarias, specialist markets. The trading activity is a real visual show and the welcome is very warm! If you decide to buy, you will love the good humour of the traders; they have excellent relational and trading skills.
In Morocco , five medinas have been included on the UNESCO world heritage list for their architectural value.
The Fez medina shelters 143 mosques and the Quaraouyine university, reported to be the oldest university in the world. The beauty of the grandiose monuments of the medina in Marrakesh are breath taking. From the Jemaa el Fna square to Tetouan, whose monuments have been protected from external influences, with the architecture and art testifying to strong Andalusian influences. Essaouira is an exceptional example of a late eighteenth century fortified town, its rectilinear medina is unique. The town of Meknes has been listed by UNESCO. The medina with its magnificent fourteenth century medersa deserves a visit.
In addition to architectural beauty, daily life in the medina is a colourful outdoor theatre exuding wonderful fragrances of spices, fruit and mint.
In Morocco , the riads (also transcribed riyads or ryads ) represent the traditional dwelling in the Medina. Riad means 'garden' in Arabic.
It was not until the 90's that the riads have benefited from a new revival of interest in them.
More Info to come.... More Information and Text sources to come