Old Walls and What Destroys Them

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Ramparts that stand up to 40 feet high, walls stretching for 12 miles (sometimes 30 feet thick) all of which has survived nearly 900 years… this is the site of the medina in Marrakesh, Morocco. It was built somewhere in the 1120s and survived to the present day. Yet when visiting the old fortified city, you’ll notice the walls have begun to crumble at their base.

Photo from Morocco Travel Blog
Photo from Morocco Travel Blog

Photo from Morocco Travel Blog
Photo from Morocco Travel Blog

The walls are made of chalk and a red clay, which led to its nickname of the “red city”. It has 19 large gates surrounding the city, some of which reach up to 19 feet high. Many groups attempted to attack the city, but failed to break the walls and ended up scaling them instead. Yet all the battles and sieges are not the cause of the deterioration seen today. So what is?

Photo by Jonathan Rome
Photo by Jonathan Rome

Public urination is actually on of the largest causes for the problem. It is very common to see a man peeing on a wall in Morocco. And they do so brashly, out in public view, not even attempting to hide. Over time, the walls just gave in.

Photo by Oliver Laumann
Photo by Oliver Laumann

Background sound production by champigniondebois.

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