Abandoned Morocco: Tangier Medina House


The Medina in Tangier is a haphazard labyrinth of winding alleyways housing thousands of people, shops, stalls and workshops. Crammed within the boundaries of a 15th century fortress, the buildings here are constantly evolving, seemingly growing on top of each other, competing for space and light like trees in a forest. For the 180,000 inhabitants, the medina is life- the narrow walkways providing all the amenities required- a bustling ant’s nest of activity.

With an extremely high population density and constant need for living space, anything abandoned here won’t remain so for long. As we shuffled our way through the scaffolding, a glance upwards revealed the vibrant colours of different rooms, on different levels, which one made up this Moroccan home. Intricate wall paintings can be seen on some of the upper levels, and beautifully decorated tiles still clung onto the walls in places. Other walls had been stripped bare, with only rubble left on the floor below.

Mostly stripped out, the only remaining items inside were a chair, drawers balanced precariously against a structural support, with clothes and bric-a-brac littering the floor. A kitchen counter and sink was also visible beneath the rubble. Looking closely at the fabric of the building, past changes can be made out, with an arch filled in to create a square doorway at some point. This adaption hints at the future of the building, being surrounded by and probably supporting its neighbouring buildings, it’s likely that this empty house will be stripped back to the walls and patched and repaired, rather than being knocked down and rebuilt- which would be an impossible task given the surroundings. As I’ve previously alluded to, the buildings in the medina are almost alive and are an integral part of life and culture here- this shell will soon be someone’s home again.

Sign up to receive our latest discoveries to your email, once a week

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments