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Marrakech - Imperial City : "the Red City"


Chaotic, confusing, she makes you tired.... magical!

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Marrakech is called “the red city” because of the colour of its buildings, painted in compliance with the urban rules that make it compulsory to use the red colour of the land surrounding Marrakech.

For further historical information on Marrakech, please refer to the Wikipedia link, which is full of information on the subject.

We want to tell you about a city in continuous evolution, that is changing its face, trying to maintain a balance between past and present, so in addition to the ancient Medina, known all over the world, it will not be difficult to meet large shopping malls to envy any Western capital, the street-art is changing the appearance of some streets and more generally, Marrakech looks forward, thinking of the millions of visitors who will come to visit.

What discover in a city, is part of personal desires, we suggest you what we love most of our beautiful Marrakech.

Recommended book on Marrakech: "The voices of Marrakech" by Elias Canetti. Marrakech is one of the four imperial cities, is called "the red city" because of the color of its houses, which, by city regulation, must be absolutely red ochre, like the color of the land that surrounds it.

Jemaa el Fna Square

Jemaa el-Fna is the first point of arrival! A huge square that changes its face as the hours go by on. Silent in the early morning, the Koutoubia that stands out right in front, the hills that surround it, the first people walking. When the time’s goings on, the square comes alive, are set up some banquets, where in the evening will be prepared the best dishes of Moroccan cuisine: tajine, couscous, brochettes, olives in all sauces, snails, soups, grilled fish, grilled meat … a varied choice that you can not give up. Behind the square, the great Souk of Marrakech, with its alleys characterized by the division by products: lamps, babouches, bags, turbans, jewelry … an infinite number of local handicrafts, not least the district of weaving, more deflated, because of the smell of tanned leather.

The main character in the square is the music: the music coming from the banquets, the music played by the many musicians, the sound of the instruments of the water vendors … in Jemaa el Fna Square you can not hear yourself alone!

Koutoubia Mosque

Koutoubia, impossible not to recognize it, with its 70 meters high, stands out from anywhere in the city. This monument was built in 1147 by the amlohadi, but without respecting the alignment with Mecca, it is said that it was razed to the ground and rebuilt to comply with the dictates of the Koran.

Every day, 5 times a day, you will hear the song for the call to prayer of the faithful.

The mosque is not open to non-Muslims, but the spectacle it offers from the outside, is worth a walk along the 4 sides. With a little luck, you will find an open door during prayer, and from the steps you can see the row of vaults inside the prayer room, which can accommodate up to 20,000 faithful.

Medersa Ben Youssef

Medersa Ben Youssef: The first impression, entering this structure, is that of magnificence: for the colours, for the light, for the richness of the details and materials used for the construction of this Koranic school which, at the time, was the largest in North Africa.

The welcome is a good omen “may your highest hopes be fulfilled”: only for this blessing, worth a visit!

The medersa is part of the nearby Ali ben Yousseph Mosque, where up to 900 young theology students were hosted at the time.

On 2018 the site will be closed for renovation work

Marrakech Museum

Marrakech Museum: The most extraordinary thing about this museum, is a huge chandelier placed in the center of a hall and overlooking the entire room; inside the museum are collections of objects of art and traditional Moroccan craftsmanship.

The visit is short and interesting!

Bahia Palace

Bahia Palace: probably one of the most beautiful historic buildings in Marrakech, built by the best craftsmen in the country. Here too, a display of decorations, precious furniture, wood, ceramics, which embellish the rooms of the Palace. Of particular interest is the Harem, which housed the wife of the Gran Visir and his 24 concubines.

The “internal” garden and the gardens surrounding the palace are also of particular value.

El Badi Palace

Recently renovated (at the time of writing we are in 2018), this building was the seat of the “sultan of gold” who built it at the end of 1500. At the time of its glory it was composed of 360 rooms, for which precious materials had been used: granite from Ireland, marble from Italy, onyx and pure gold from India. One hundred years later the palace was looted and destroyed to use the materials in the construction of other palaces in Meknes.

Inside the building there are gardens rich in orange trees and a huge pool in which the blue sky of Marrakech is reflected.

Saadian's Tombs

Saadian’s Tombs: this historical monument is a jewel of Moroccan architecture that shows, without paying attention to expense, all the opulence of the dynasty: Carrara marble and stucco honeycomb in pure gold, characterize the tombs, surrounded by rich gardens that represent Islamic paradise.

The Secret Garden of Marrakech

The secret Garden of Marrakech, is located in the heart of the Medina, has recently been reopened to the public, although it is a structure dating back to the time of the Saadian dynasty, with over 400 years of etu. First rebuilt in the mid-19th century, it was recently restored by artist Tom Stuart Smith, who restored its former splendour, all based on Islamic art.

The Mellah (Jewish Quarter)

The Mellah is a must, a Jewish quarter present in many cities in Morocco. The district has been abandoned by the Jewish people, already since the 60’s but you can still visit the ancient synagogue. Here you can find many handicraft activities. This site was renovated on 2016.

Majorelle's Gardens

Majorelle’s Gardens   they are probably among the most famous gardens of all Morocco: characterized by blue-mogador, they collect a vastness of flowers and plants from all over the world. Inside the gardens, there is the villa that was the home of Ives Sant-Laurent who fell in love with it. A very curious pool rich in huge goldfish is located next to the Berber museum, which we suggest you to visit.

Menara Garden

The Menara Garden. Not far from Menara Airport, you will find the Menara Garden, consisting of a huge park rich in olive trees, a large reservoir and a residence of a sultan.

Here the inhabitants of Marrakech come to spend some of their free time, in the shade of olive trees, enjoying the family picnic.

For a visit to the city we suggest you use an authorized local guide who will not only tell you the story and anecdotes related to Marrakech, but will also give you the opportunity to know the main points of interest, in case you do not have much time.

Merzouga Tours is at your disposal for this service.

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