Sam's Exotic Travels to Marrakech
Marrakech or Marrakesh, known as the "Red City", is the most important former imperial city in Morocco's history. The city of Marrakesh is the capital of the mid-southwestern economic region of Marrakech-Tensift-Al Haouz, near the foothills of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains. Like many North African cities, the city of Marrakesh comprises both an old fortified city (the médina) and an adjacent modern city (called Gueliz) for a total population of 1,070,000. It is served by Ménara International Airport (IATE code: RAK) and a rail link to Casablanca and the north.
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The Souk - the largest traditional market (souk) in Morocco
Jamee el Fna Square - One of the busiest squares in Africa and the world,. The square bustles with acrobats, story-tellers, water sellers, dancers and musicians. By night food stalls open in the square turning it into a huge busy open-air restaurant.
Koutoubia Mosque - the largest mosque in Marrakech, Morocco. The minaret was completed under the reign of the Almohad Caliph Yaqub al-Mansur (1184-1199) and was used as the model for the Giralda of Seville and for the Hassan Tower of Rabat. The name is derived from the Arabic al-Koutoubiyyin for librarian, since it used to be surrounded by sellers of manuscripts. It is considered the ultimate structure of its kind. The tower is 69 m (221 ft) in height and has a lateral length of 12.8 m (41 ft). Six rooms (one above the other) constitute the interior; leading around them is a ramp by way of which the muezzin could ride up to the balcony. It is built in a traditional Almohad style and the tower is adorned with four copper globes. According to legend, the globes were originally made of pure gold, and there were once supposed to have been only three globes. The fourth globe was donated by the wife of Yaqub el-Mansur as compensation for her failure to keep the fast for one day during the month of Ramadan. She had her golden jewelry melted down to flab the fourth globe. The minaret of the Koutoubia was the model for the minaret of the Giralda mosque in Seville which in its turn has influenced thousands of church towers in Spain and Eastern Europe.
Menara Gardens - located to the west of Marrakech, Morocco, at the gates of the Atlas mountains. They were built in the 12th century (c. 1130) by the Almohad ruler Abd al-Mu'min. The name menara derives from the pavillon with its small green pyramid roof (menzeh). The pavilion was built during the 16th century Saadi dynasty and renovated in 1869 by sultan Abderrahmane of Morocco, who used to stay here in summertime.The pavilion and basin (an artificial lake) are surrounded by orchards and olive groves. The intention of the basin was to irrigate the surrounding gardens and orchards using a sophisticated system of underground channels called a qanat. The basin is supplied with water thanks to an old hydraulic system which conveys water from the mountains located 30 km approximately away from Marrakech.
Saadiens Tombs - They date back from the time of the sultan Ahmad al-Mansur (1578-1603). The tombs were only recently discovered (in 1917) and were restored by the Beaux-arts service. The tombs have, because of the beauty of their decoration, been a major attraction for visitors of Marrakech. The mausoleum comprises the corpses of about sixty members of the Saadi Dynasty that originated in the valley of the Draa River. Among the graves are those of Ahmad al-Mansur and his family. The building is composed of three rooms. The most famous is the room with the twelve columns. This room contains the grave of the son of the sultan's son Ahmad al-Mansur. The stele is in finely worked cedar wood and stucco work. The monuments are made of Italian Carrara marble. Outside the building is a garden and the graves of soldiers and servants.
People of Marrakeck - my impressions of the wonderful people of Marrakech
Abstracts - Something a little different, use your imagination in this set.
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