Marrakesh is nicknamed the Red City because its buildings and other structures are awash in various shades of red. Originally, the colors came from the clay found in the surrounding hillsides. Since the time of French colonial rule, there has been a government enforced mandate that buildings in the old part of the city, be painted in some shade of red.
One of my favorite structures in Marrakesh was the Bab Agnaou; it's the most famous of the nineteen gates that lead into the medina because for me, the medina gate is an iconic symbol of Morocco.
The first time I saw Bab Agnaou, it was midday and I was so disappointed because I expected it to capture my attention and it really didn’t impress me. Later on the same day, I went again and this time what I saw took my breath away – it was simply gorgeous. I don’t know if it was because it was around sunset time that I was there or because it was a mid winter’s day and the sun shines at a different angle or because the unique properties of the clay allow it absorb light differently but Bab Agnaou was aglow in this beautiful shade of orange. In this light, even the detailing of the carved arch was beautifully highlighted. It just felt warm and inviting, like an entry door should.
Every day that I was in Marrakesh, I would drag my travel partner to see Bab Agnaou at this time of day. I think he thought I was crazy but he politely went along. Mercifully for him, he would only have to stay until it got dark.