Morocco’s “red city” is the country’s busiest tourist destination. It has something for everyone, from the circus-like square of Jemaa El-Fnaa to the opulent palaces and stunning gardens. Here are 11 compelling reasons to visit Marrakech.
The Red City, Marrakech
Marrakech is the Kingdom of Morocco’s fourth-largest city. The city was created in the 12th century, while Berber farmers had resided there for generations before that. Red sandstone was used to construct buildings at the time.
Since the city’s inception, tradition has dictated that all structures be painted red or ochre, occasionally even salmon. Marrakech is known as the “Red City” or “Ochre City” due to this. The only exceptions to the rule regarding building color are religious and official government structures. You can easily travel with American Airlines. If any inevitable situation occurs, you might cancel your bookings as per American Airlines Cancellation Policy. It permits the passengers to cancel their tickets with refunds under some particular conditions.
The Bahia Palace is one of the most important things to see in Marrakech. It was designed in the late 1800s to be the greatest palace of its period, combining Islamic and Moroccan architectural elements. Grand Vizier Si Moussa erected it, and his son Abu “Bou” Ahmed later enlarged and ornamented it. It’s a magnificent and elegant example of Islamic and Moorish architecture with painted wood ceilings, carved stucco and cedar, and elaborate tilework.
It was called after the King’s favorite of his four wives, Bahia, which means “brilliance.” A 2-acre garden surrounds the palace, which has chambers that open into the courtyard. It has 150 rooms, as well as a harem portion with 24 ladies. Many of the changes were done to meet Bou’s desire to please his women and harem, which was extensive.
Saadian Tombs, Marrakech
The Saadian tombs are sepulchers and mausoleums that house the bones of the Saadi Dynasty’s sixty most significant members. This dynasty controlled Morocco from 1549 until 1659, and Ahmad al-Mansur, the most prominent member, is buried here. They were shut up and hidden after the dynasty fell apart, only to be discovered via aerial photography in 1917. The graves were restored to their former splendor by the French.
The building has three rooms that are ornately decorated with highly carved cedar and plaster. There’s also some zellige or intricate tilework. The monuments are built of Carrera marble from Italy. Soldiers and servants’ tombs can be seen on the lawn outside the building.
It’s worth noting that the tombs look to be somewhat narrow. This is because, in Islam, people are buried facing Mecca on their right side. The burials, while elaborate, are not in keeping with tradition, and mosaic tiles or simple wood sculptures can be found in some.
The markets in Marrakech are buzzing with activity. Simply take a deep breath to center yourself before entering. It’s difficult to manage them since they’re chaotic, hectic, loud, and perplexing. They are, however, fascinating, intriguing, engaging, and thrilling. You’ll see snake charmers, people carrying monkeys on a leash, people haggling over spice prices, and a variety of other things you wouldn’t expect to see.
Some of the shops are located that line the street. Others are inside, under a sort of cloth roof. You are only permitted to pass through the major corridors, not between the shops. It’s almost as though you’re within a gigantic structure.
Museum of Marrakech, Marrakech
The Marrakech Museum was initially constructed as a minister’s riad. A riad is a classic Moroccan dwelling with three features: a garden, a central fountain, and an open-air space. r Menebhi Palace was a magnificent structure. It was constructed at the end of the nineteenth century and converted into a museum in 1997. It was purchased and repaired by the Omar Benjelloun Foundation.
It’s a fine example of typical Moorish architecture, with fountains in a central courtyard (now obscured by glass panels), a hammam, and beautiful carvings and tilework. A massive chandelier constructed of metal plates with beautiful geometric designs hangs throughout the room. Beautiful wood archways, hand-painted door panels, stained-glass windows, and brilliant geometric mosaic tilework, known as zellige, are all highlights.
The museum also has a collection of modern and traditional Moroccan art. Coins, literature, and ceramics from Berber, Islamic, and Moroccan Jewish civilizations are also displayed. Though not as impressive as Bahia Palace, this museum is far less crowded and a fantastic example of Moroccan architecture.
Ben Youssef Madrasa
Ben Youssef Madrasa was previously Morocco’s and North Africa’s largest Islamic college. It was built in the 14th century and ornately decorated in the mid-16th century during the Saadian dynasty. “You who enter my house, may your fondest dreams be exceeded,” reads a magnificent inscription over the front door. It was closed as a college in 1960 but was reopened to the public in 1982 after being rebuilt.
The main courtyard with a modest reflection pool, two open-air galleries, and student housing surrounds the main square. The decoration pays homage to Andalusian architecture with gardens, fountains, and finely adorned tile and stucco walls.
Koutoubia Mosque, Marrakech
The Koutoubia Mosque is the city’s largest mosque and a famous tourist attraction in Marrakesh. The minaret tower reaches a height of over 250 feet (77 meters). It contains some green tile rows for adornment, as well as a four-orb spire at the top. It’s a magnificent structure, and it is illuminated at night and is worth seeing both day and night.
Because no structure in a Muslim city may be taller than the mosque, construction in Marrakech is limited to this height. It’s a helpful landmark for orienting yourself in the neighboring town. It was named Koutoubia, the Arabic term for booksellers because it was near some bookstores.
Tomb of Lalla Zohra
The Koubba de Lalla Zohra is a modest but stunning white edifice located before the Koutoubia Mosque. Although Islam prevents individuals from being worshipped, it does permit the adoration of saints and holy men and women. These establishments are frequently housed in kebabs, which are white structures with domed roofs.
Unfortunately, because her life and death were not documented, the full details and death are unknown. She is thought to be the daughter of a freed slave from Sub-Saharan Africa who converted to Islam. She drew the attention of a prince who was enamored with her and desired to marry her.
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