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Morocco - Expo Paris 1889

Morocco at the Exhibition Expo Paris 1889

The Sultan of Morocco, wishing to give a token of sympathy to France, insisted that his country be officially represented at the Paris Exhibition.

The Moroccan section, which includes about sixty exhibitors, occupies an area of 2,000 square metres on the Champ de Mars, along the Avenue de Suffren.

This section consists of the imperial pavilion, situated in the axis of the transverse gallery leading to the great dome of honour. A Moroccan tent has been erected next to it. Going up towards the machine gallery, there is a large bazaar and then, surrounding the Moroccan café-restaurant on two sides, there is the work gallery.

These various buildings are built in the style of Moroccan or rather Spanish Moorish architecture; it is not, however, the pure style of which the Alcazar and the Merquitta of Cordoba are the inimitable types.

It is a decadent style, so to speak, but still with the profusion of columns, the ogival doorways, the lowered naves, the narrowed crescent-shaped arch at the base.

In the imperial pavilion, none of the objects that adorn it are for sale. They are carpets that the Moors call alcaflhah, damascene weapons and all the products of oriental art.

In the large bazaar, Moroccan merchants sell pure wool or woven wool and silk fabrics, carpets again, spartan goods made of bark, straw, rushes and leaves, and above all leather and velvet maroquins, babouches and cushions embroidered with gold, silver and silk.

Then there were chiselled copper dishes, damascened daggers, and everything that the trade and industry of Eastern countries entails. In front of this bazaar, two small pavilions, the Soliman pavilion and the Timsit pavilion, are also occupied by Moroccan merchants.

In the work gallery, workers make small objects in front of the visitors, and in the Moroccan restaurant you can eat Moroccan dishes, while hearing Moroccan music, the nouba.

This exhibition is very colourful and completes the picturesque aspect of the Cairo street.

© Guide Bleu du Figaro et du Petit Journal 1889