Photo du Jour: A Lantern Maker in Marrakech’s Souk

A young man in Marrakech shapes metal strips that will later be used to form the skeleton of a jewel-toned Moroccan lantern. In the town’s souk (bazaar), a colorful array of these finished lanterns adorns stalls, making for a picturesque stroll by night when blocks are all aglow. Palaces and riads (traditional Moroccan townhouses) glimmer with windows fitted with this vibrant glass, too.

A seated man makes the metalwork for a traditional Moroccan lantern in a shop in Marrakech. Overhead, a lantern hangs above him.
A vertical panel of green, red, and blue Moroccan glass fills a window. There is wrought ironwork on the right side of the frame.

Where in the World?

Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

Published by Tricia A. Mitchell

Tricia A. Mitchell is a freelance writer and photographer. Born in Europe but raised in the United States, she has lived in Valletta, Malta; Heidelberg, Germany; and Split, Croatia. An avid globetrotter who has visited more than 65 countries, she has a penchant for off-season travel. Tricia has learned that travel’s greatest gift is not sightseeing, rather it is the interactions with people. Some of her most memorable experiences have been sharing a bottle of champagne with distant French cousins in Lorraine, learning how to milk goats in a sleepy Bulgarian village, and ringing in the Vietnamese New Year with a Hanoi family. She welcomes any opportunity to practice French and German, and she loves delving into a place’s history and artisanal food scene. A former education administrator and training specialist, Tricia has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in international relations. She and her husband, Shawn, married in the ruins of a snowy German castle. They’ve been known to escape winter by basing themselves in coastal Croatia or Southeast Asia. Her writing has appeared in Fodor’s Travel, Frommer’s, and International Living.

23 thoughts on “Photo du Jour: A Lantern Maker in Marrakech’s Souk

  1. The rain is beating at my window. The sky leaden. But I am in Marrakesh. Traveling the bazaars with Tricia. I’ve taken the tagine out of the cupboard. You’ve inspired me to chase away the gloom, and fill my kitchen with the perfume of exotic spices from a lamb tagine. Virginia

      1. Sublime! I used the recipe I have on my food blog Mrs. Butterfingers, and substituted the lamb for the chicken. It was a mystical night at the Casbah.

      2. I didn’t know that you also have a blog devoted to food, Virginia. I’ll certainly have to devote some time to peruse it! What a Renaissance woman you are.

  2. Tricia, what a beautiful post. I like how you keep us guessing with the blakc and white image at the top – I wonder what colour the lantern is above the maker. I just love the vibrant colours and look forward to ticking off Morocco on my large list:)

    1. Marina, that opening lantern is actually quite neutral – so un-Moroccan! I did pick up two colorful ones, though – blue & a deep eggplant color.

      You will adore Morocco! From the unique cuisine, to the friendly people and exotic architecture and bazaars, it’s so fun to explore.

      Thanks as always for stopping by, Marina. I just subscribed to your yoga blog – hope it’ll inspire me to hit the yoga mat again very soon.

      1. Tricia – Morocco looks just lovely and the artisans in the area would be so inspiring to meet :) Just like your photo shows. I am glad you subscribed to my yoga blog.. I will be posting something soon. Just getting some coursework done which is delaying things !!!

    1. Thank you, Rachael. I must confess that these shots were snapped two cameras ago with my point & shoot. :) Oh, again, I wish you were in the same neighborhood so you could give lessons!

    1. Hi Shiu-Kay,

      I wish I could provide specific details about where the lantern maker was. I took the lantern workshop photo around 2004, back in the days when I was traveling without a smart phone or Google Maps. The cover photo, on the other hand, was definitely taken in one of the many shops bordering Djemaa el Fna.

      I remember walking from Djemaa el Fna and chancing upon this lantern-making district. It was definitely within walking distance. So, my advice would be to wander the backstreets — or ask a local. :) Perhaps even translate “lantern making workshop” or something like that into Arabic or French and see if any workshops pop up on Google Maps.

      If you’re traveling to Morocco (on your website, I see that you’re an accomplished lighting designer!), I hope you have a wonderful trip. I’ve been there 3 times and would love to return.

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