Marrakech is a city of 9 centuries. It has been a major gathering place for traders and travelers from all parts of the world. Here are the highlights of our visit to Marrakech:
- Lodging at the Palais Sebban
- History Discovery Tour
- Souks of the Medina
- Place Jemaa el-Fna
Bab Ksour seen here was the gate we used when we first arrived in Marrakech to go to our accommodations for our three night stay (December 11-14, 2019).
This was the third Ryad that we had stayed in in Morocco. For the third time we were informed that our room had been upgraded. What we finally realized is upgraded doesn't necessarily mean a better room, it means the room is up, as up a lot of steps. To get to our room called Tataah, we climbed lots of steps. Some of these steps are seen below.
Our dinner the first night in Marrakech was in the outdoor courtyard of the Palais Sebban. It was super cold. We were given monk like robes to ward off the cold. Chris had chicken with seffa (some type of spaghetti). Bob had couscous with chicken.
Once we climbed the steps to enter our room, we had to go down a spiral staircase to get to the living area of our accommodations.
The room had two large balconies. The photo at left is the lower balcony taken from the upper balcony.
Marrakech History Discovery Tour
Our guide for the day in Marrakech was Abdul, seen below with Chris. Our driver from Casablanca to Marrakech and the three days in and around Marrakech was Halib.
The Kasbah Mosque was built by Caliph Yacoub el-Mansour between 1185 and 1190. He built it to be the Friday Mosque for the caliph and his royal district. It has been rebuilt several times since. Once a a result of an explosion in a nearby gunpowder store. Mostly, later rebuilds stayed true to the original design due to the high esteem the locals hold for this structure.
The Koutoubia Mosque was built in the 12th century. It was started by Abd el-Moumen sultan of the Almohads to mark his victory over the Almoravids. It was completed during the reign of Yacoub el-Mansour, grandson of And el-Moumen. Koutoubia originates from the Arabic word for bookseller. Once booksellers would gather at the entrances and surrounding areas to sell books. This no longer happens. The booksellers have been replaced with folks selling trinkets.
The Saadi dynasty ruled Morocco from 1549 to 1659. At right is the tomb of Almed el-Mansour, the 6th and most famous of the Saadi rulers.
The name of this palace means "Palace of the Favourite". It was built by Si Moussa, grand vizier of the Sultan Sidi Mohammed ben Abderrahman and his son Ba Ahmed, grand vizier of Moulay Abdelaziz near the end of the 19th century.
At left is the Grand Courtyard of the Bahia Palace.
The palace is still used today by the king of Morocco to receive foreign guests or host events.
Souks of the Marrakech Medina
Here are some of the souks we visited in Marrakech:
- Lighting Fixtures
- Musical Instruments
- Carpets and Baskets
Place Jemaa el-Fna
For generations Jemaa el-Fna has been the center of activity for Marrakech. It is also the symbol of the city. This square has been declared a Unesco World Heritage Site. We visited this site in the late afternoon as vendors and entertainers were preparing for the evenings activities.