Marrakech the Pearl of the South

Marrakech, is the second oldest imperial city known as the « Pearl of the South »

Marrakech is Morocco's second largest city and its population continues to rise. It has a prosperous industrial area and is the most significant market and organizational centre of Southern Morocco. Marrakech does not have many historical monuments and buildings; its beauty lies in the atmosphere and the spectacular location. Marrakech, with the outstanding peaks of the Atlas expanding behind the city, has very warm humid summers and shimmering white snowy winters. Marrakechis are well known for their warmth and sociability, their humour and honesty.

Koutoubia mosque

Koutoubia Mosque is nearly 230 f (70 m) high and visible for miles on a clear morning, this is the oldest of the three great Almohad dynasty towers (Hassan in Rabat and La Giralda in Seville). Its gilt balls made of copper at the summit are the subjects of numerous legends.

Bahia palace

Palais Bahia: Residence of the Grand Vizier, Si Ahmed Ben Moussa, who rose and holds massive power in the Cherifian Kingdom. He was first chamberlain to Moulay Hassan. Under the king Abdel el Aziz (who was just twelve when he acceded to the throne), Abou Ahmed took the position of Vizier, and then proceeded to rule.

Ben youssef medersa & museum

The Ben Youssef Medersa was a Mirinide foundation, established by Sultan Abou El Hassan in the fourteenth century. It was almost completely rebuilt under the Saadiens and it’s dynasty’s intricate, Andalusian-influenced art that has left its mark. Parts have exact parallels in the Alhambra Palace in Granada, and it seems likely that Muslim Spanish architects were employed in its construction. The central courtyard is very large.

Jamaa el fna square

Jamaa El Fna: the most attractive square of Marrakesh. By day it’s basically a market, with a few snake charmers and an occasional troupe of acrobats. In the evening it becomes a whole carnival of musicians and street entertainers. There are performers, too, whose appeal is universal. Some of the square ‘s acrobats have for years supplied the European circus. It’s the focal point for entertainment. Not to be missed, however, are the rows of makeshift restaurants that come into their own towards early evening.

The medina

Almoravids founded the Medina of Marrakech and its walls in the 11th century.
During the Almoravidian period, the Marrakech Medina prospered and became an economic, political and cultural center of Morocco. Abu Yacoub Youssef and Yacoub el Mansour, successors of Abd el-Mou'men, played an important role in restoring the capital to its former glory. In later years the Medina of Marrakech influenced the style of buildings in a number of towns because of its prominence.