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Notes on the Geography of Morocco: Marrakech Periphery: Photo 1

world pictures Morocco: Marrakech Periphery

A snippet of the new city, which began with Resident General Hubert Lyautey's asking for a plan from Henri Prost, a city planner who from 1914 to 1922 developed plans not only for Marrakech but for Fes, Meknes, Rabat, and Casablanca. Later, Prost worked in Algiers, Istanbul, and back home in France.

Here in Marrakech, he laid out a Grande Avenue (now Ave. Mohammed V), which began in the heart of the old city and stretched about two miles to the northwest, where it terminated at the foot of a dramatically scarped hill, Gueliz, and at the adjoining Camp Mangin, a military base named for the French officer who had helped subdue a local rebellion in 1912. Midway along its course, this grand avenue was crossed by another avenue coming in from the train station a few blocks to the west. This second street, Avenue du Haouz (now Avenue Hassan II), crossed the grand avenue at a circle from which streets radiated like spokes of a wheel, particularly in the northwest quadrant. By 1935, the bulk of the new city was in the dozen blocks of this quadrant. Provision was made for expansion, however, not only east of the circle but farther west, where the broad Avenue de France (now Ave. Mohammed VI) ran through open country as late as 1935. (These details come from Plan de Marrakech, a French map of the city, published in 1935 at a scale of 1:10,000 and reprinted in 1942 by the U.S. Army Map Service. Good luck finding it!)

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