The city of Marrakech, residing north of foothills of the Atlas Mountains, was founded in the eleventh century by the Almoravids.
Today, it is the fourth largest city in Morocco, and a popular tourist destination.
If you travel to Marrakech, it is important to make sure you have the right cover in place so check your annual travel insurance just in case you run into any difficulties on your journies.
The Medina, meaning “town” or “city” in Arabic, is the oldest quarter of Marrakech, the place of the original Almohad settlement from which the city spread out over the centuries, to become what it is today. It costs nothing to enter and explore, although it is easy to spend money there.(Image by The Inventor City)
The Jemaa-el-fna, the square and market place, has been designated a UNESCO Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Expect to be entertained by snake charmers, Barbary monkeys on leashes, musicians, dancers, story tellers, and magicians. At night, food stalls are set up on the Jemaa-el-fna, preparing and selling exquisite moroccan cuisine.
The Koutoubia Mosque stands in the southwest of the Medina, overlooking the Jemma-el-fna. This mosque, the largest in Marrakech, has its own gardens, and after dark can be seen illuminated by floodlights.
The intricate maze of winding alleys are a pleasure to explore, and a place where Moroccan wares are sold from souks.
The Medina is surrounded by ten miles of red clay walls, nine metres tall, and two metres thick. There are nineteen babs, or gates, including the magnificent twelfth century Bab Aganou, serving as the entrance to the royal kasbah.
The Menara Gardens, in the west of Marrakech by the slopes of the Atlas Mountains, were established in the twelfth century, built for Abd al-Mu’min, Caliph of the Almohad Empire.
The gardens feature olive groves, orchards, citrus, and palm trees. The presence of such lush vegetation in hot, arid Morocco is made possible by a sophisticated irrigation system. Water is conveyed to the gardens from the Atlas Mountains by a hydraulic system, where it collects in a central basin. The water stored in the basin in used to irrigate the gardens via a system of underground channels called quanat.
The Pavilion, standing by the basin, was built in the fifteenth century by the Saadi dynasty, and renovated in the nineteenth century.
El Badi Palace
The El Badi Palace was built in the late sixteenth century, by the Saadi dynasty. Its construction was financed by Portuguese ransom money after the Battle of Three Kings.(Image by Irene Spadacini )
Today, the palace is in ruins, having been ransacked in the seventeenth century to furnish another palace, and is a home to stalks, not to mention a popular tourist attraction.
Related post : Getting Around in Morocco
Feature image by jzspitzig