World Exhibition Paris 1878

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May 1, 1878 - October 31, 1878


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Moroccan Quarter

Moroccan Quarter at the Exhibition Expo Paris 1878

At the Trocadero, close to the passage coming from the Pont d'Iéna, on the left, Morocco has raised, in Moroccan hands, a model of a Tangier house, which came from the country in pieces. Outwardly very simple, this house is divided into a living room, a dining room, a bedroom, an inner courtyard, a bathroom and a kitchen; all of which, as you might expect, is decorated in the purest Moorish style. To this construction, which is not without interest, it is not necessary to add that a café is annexed.

The Tunisian and Moroccan exhibitions are certainly curious in that they represent the complete type of oriental bazaar, mostly run by Jews who seek to sell abroad at the highest possible price products of more or less authentic source and of more or less dubious quality.

You will find there prodigious quantities of crucifixes, rosaries, roses of Jericho, pipes, fez, pastilles of the seraglio, watermelons, jewellery, objects of all kinds made of coconuts, babouches, embroidered jackets, etc., etc., etc.

One thing that distinguishes Morocco, however, is that it has installed a café; the entrance fee is 1 franc.

The orchestra consists of four musicians, some of whom play the Basque drum, others the earthenware tambourine.

This is what is called a Moorish concert.

The strangeness of this primitive music, the effect that this plaintive, monotonous and shrill melody infallibly produces on European organisations, is not without its impressiveness.

Coffee is served in the oriental style, it goes without saying, and cigarettes are lit with a burning coal.

In short, Morocco and Tunisia have succeeded in amusing the visitor, but that is all.

Let us hasten to say that we do not blame them for this.

We were talking earlier about the Rose of Jericho. This rose was highly venerated in the past; on Christmas Eve, it was put in water and it became
It was put in water on Christmas Eve and bloomed at noon, at the precise hour of the Saviour's birth.

This rose, whose real name is Jerosia hygrometra, is found in Syria and Palestine. The Arabs call it Kafmargan; Linnaeus called it Anastatica hierachantina.

Some travellers say that its real name is in French la ressuscitante, and in Arabic Keff-Meriem, the hand of Mary or Keff-Fatma, the hand of Fatma.

According to the legend, this rose is the end of the branches of a shrub on which the Holy Virgin spread the swaddling clothes of the infant Jesus.

©Les Merveilles de l'Exposition de 1878