The gates of the Royal Palace (Dar El Makhzen) in Fez, Morocco
© Adam Smigielski/Getty Image
Keyholes to the kingdom. International Day of Islamic Art
The International Day of Islamic Art, proclaimed by UNESCO in 2019, occurs every November 18 to celebrate past and contemporary artistic expressions of Islam, and to highlight Islamic artists' contributions to world civilization. November 18 also marks Morocco's independence day, or Fete de l'Independence, commemorating Sultan Muhammad V's return to Morocco from exile in 1955.
Our image honours both of today's events: You're beholding the main gates of the Dar al-Makhzen, the royal palace of the King of Morocco in the city of Fez. While the palace was originally founded in 1276, these ornate gates were added in the 1960s and '70s, crafted of wood and bronze—plus intricate mosaic tiling, a hallmark of Islamic art both old and new.