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Bab Boujloud is a monumental gateway that spans one of the medina's busiest thoroughfares and is a good starting point for your explorations inside the medina walls. This gate (bab in Arabic) was constructed by the French in 1913, but the 12th-century original -- positioned with an indirect entrance to negate battering rams -- can still be seen next to it. The gate's Mauresque-Andalusian style is replicated in the Morocco exhibit in Orlando's EPCOT center, and the horseshoe arches are decorated with Fassi blue tiles on the outside and green tiles on the inside, patterned in the form of stars and swirls. Standing outside looking in, you can see two minarets. The one on the right belongs to the crumbling 20th-century Sidi Lazzaz mosque and is usually topped with a stork's nest. The other minaret, topped by two golden orbs, is part of the recently restored 14th-century Bouinania Medersa .

For much of the day, the cobbled artery that slices through Bab Boujloud is a constant movement of people, donkeys, mules, and mopeds, and once you've viewed its exterior beauty, this is the real attraction of Bab Boujloud. There are a number of cafe-restaurants both just inside the gate and outside that afford some quality viewing of everyday life in this medieval city.

Note: Look for the huge bolt on the outside of the French-built gate. In a complete reversal of function, during the protectorate era, the medina was closed at night and locked from the outside.