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Size: 3" x 5"
Copyrighted: 1891
Lithographer: Joseph P. Knapp

Morocco, Africa - Gateway and Bazaar
Illustrations: A Morocco Couple; A Gateway and Bazaar; Morocco; Courting

Reverse - Text
Right section:
The empire, although leaving some interesting relics of its former grandeur, is now in a state of deplorable decay, its government an oriental despotism of the worst type, and its general condition such as to merit the reproach of being the "China of the West." Yet there are some faint signs of a recognition of European influence, toward the engrafting of the practices of modern civilization. The natural features of the country are eminently favorable thereto.
The city of Morocco, founded in 1062, one of the quasi capitals of the sultanate, lies in a spacious plain, about 15 miles from the northern part of the Atlas, at a height variously estimated from 1,400 to over 1,600 feet. Ranking during the early ages as one of the most flourishing cities of Islam, it has sunk to a depth that would stamp it as utterly wretched were it not for the exceptional beauty of its situation, the luxuriant gardens and groves by which it is surrounded and interspersed, and the magnificent outlook towards the mountains. The wall, 25 to 30 feet high, is so dilapidated as to allow entrance to foot-passengers and even horsemen, in various places. Although bricks of a good quality are manufactured, they are not used for buildings, tábiya--pounded clay--being almost the only material employed. With the exception of the tower of the Kutubia Mosque and a certain archway, which was brought in pieces from Spain, there is not a stone building in the city. The Tower of Kutubia alone is a worthy memorial of the constructive genius of the early Moors. The mosque is a large brick building erected by Abd al-Mumen; the interior has marble pillars, and the whole of the crypt is occupied by a vast cistern excavated by Mausior. The Church of Sidi Bel Abbas in the extreme north of the city, possesses property to the value of 200,000 pounds, and is used as a courthouse and asylum. The population, which in 1150 was said to be 700,000, is now estimated at only 50,000.