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a world of traveling birds

The Moroccan house, called dar, has a central patio, of a limited size, is a hole of light and receives a rather mineral decoration, unlike the riad whose patio is occupied largely by a garden planted with trees, ideally divided into four squares, separated by the representation of the four rivers of "Semitic" paradise.

Source of light and access to the rooms of the riad, center of the domestic life and domain of the woman, the patio, is the architectural element which gives a personal impression to the riad.

patio riad Toyour fes
riad means garden

A riad is in the Arab tradition, a walled garden, the classical Islamic garden. This garden is divided into four beds that surround a fountain placed in the center of the composition. From this fountain, water gushes and irrigates the vegetation that overflows the flowerbeds. These ornamental gardens with rigorous geometry were sometimes decorated with pavilions and alcoves, or surrounded by galleries arcades. It designates any house in the medina whose central patio is planted with trees.


The real traditional riad exists only in the medinas of Fes, Marrakech and Meknes. The riads and traditional houses of Morocco consist of symmetrically organized rooms around an open space.

Most who have preserved elements of their original architecture and decor (old doors, painted ceilings, arcades, four orange trees around the fountain ...), were real little palaces. This principle of symmetry will serve as a basis for the housing development project. In the axes of the facades: doors, b'hou (alcove) or sekaïa (wall fountain) ...

It will be noted that the patio of the riad TOYOUR fully respects this arrangement with a wall fountain that flows in a basin taking the water towards a calligraphied fountain.

In the rooms of the riad: windows framing the doors and side alcoves. The service areas (kitchen, bathrooms, circulations) will preferably occupy the corners of the house. A certain nomadism must be favored in the house according to the seasons by avoiding the installations and the furniture "in hard" (podiums, benches and tables masoned). The stairs - often "sporty" turn on themselves relying on masonry.

At the level of the terraces, the arrival of the staircase will be sometimes pretext to the installation of a small room of arrangement. Wherever possible, the peripheral walls should be erected, as much to guarantee the intimacy of the terraces as from respect for the neighborhood: no swimming pools on the roofs ... 


dessin patio riad
traditions remaining

The traditional habitat has two models: the dar and the riad. The origin of these models of habitat is commonly brought back to the Greek and Roman tradition whose Islamic architecture was inspired then spread this model around the Mediterranean: "we call dar, the house whose central patio receives a mineral treatment, unlike the riad whose patio is occupied largely by a garden planted with trees ".

Source of light and access to the rooms of the riad, center of the domestic life and domain of the woman, the patio, is the architectural element which gives a personal impression to the riad.

With a neat decor, the patio is the first place, and in most cases the only one, which is offered at the sight of the visitor, whose access to the riad is very limited. This is to protect the traditional architecture of the riad which provides a symmetry of spaces around the central patio. This also reflects certain principles of the Venice Charter (International Charter on Conservation and the Restoration of Monuments and Sites 1964).

The respect of the tradition and the architectural authenticity does not prevent, of course, to adapt the riad to the comfort of a modern house. We know that the lack of regulation has allowed many owners to act according to their own desire and taste in the rehabilitation of riads, sometimes without respecting the principles of heritage conservation and safeguarding its historical integrity.

The renovation work, must respect to the maximum forms and techniques of traditional construction of riads. It must be accompanied by the most discreet interventions possible to bring the essential elements of modern comfort.

Bathrooms, of course, but also furnishings to meet the needs of the mostly Western clientele: for the rooms, bedding, sheets, pillows, towels, etc ..., for meals, plates, glasses and covered, are the indispensable concessions to the "international" lifestyle, although in the house, meals can be served on low tables following the Moroccan tradition. 

plan of riad TOYOUR
What are the advantages of staying in a riad in the Medina?

A change of scenery - less than 3 hours from Paris - total in the time capsule that is the medina of Fes (probably henceforth the only city of medieval type remaining in the world after the recent destruction of Aleppo and Kathmandu)

An approach of the Moroccan culture through its habitat and its traditional way of life, a direct communication with the inhabitant, in particular the domestic workers and the direct neighbourhood

An excellent, hearty and varied traditional cuisine, composed daily of fresh products from the market

Immaculate cleanliness with the hygienist criteria of the master of the house

The privacy of a closed, cool, quiet, in a friendly space without the inconvenience (cleaning, service, shopping, cooking) through the hotel service.

Fes vue du riad TOYOUR
What can be the disadvantages?

▪ Every night, the awakening of prayer in all the mosques of the medina is more and more present (the muezzin have access to electricity alas), but our riad is protected by its architecture, its positioning on the edge of medina, its interior fittings ...: you will sleep well !!!
▪ Difficulties of orientation to find your riad during the first displacements in the medina affect many travelers, which will not be the case of ours, placed in a strategic location, easy to find that it is on foot or in vehicle .
▪ Temperature variations between day and night with, in order to cope with, reversible air conditioners in each room, insulation and natural regulation (brick-rammed walls, wind tower, patio with trees ...)

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