The above picture is of a riad in the western Moroccan city of Essaouira, photographed by Christine Oakley. The riads of Morocco are traditional palaces with interior gardens or courtyards. Wikipedia explains the riad concept:
The riads were inward focused, which allowed for family privacy and protection from the weather in Morocco. This inward focus was expressed in the central location of most of the interior gardens and courtyards and the lack of large windows on the exterior clay or mud brick walls. This design principle found support in Islamic notions of privacy, and hijab for women. Entrance to these houses is a major transitional experience and encourages reflection because all of the rooms open into the central atrium space. In the central garden of traditional riads there are often four orange or lemon trees and possibly a fountain. The walls of the riads are adorned with tadelakt plaster and zellige tiles, usually with Arabic calligraphy, with quotes from the Quran.
I greatly enjoy this particular riad. Its use of dark royal purple curtains contrasts wonderfully with the trailing green of the hanging vines. The intricately decorated lamps, dangling from exaggerated chains, cast a nice subtle glow on the brown and black walls and hand railings. It has just the minimal amount of light, and every part of the scene is a carefully thought out work of art.