| Jemaa el Fna Square|
This is the main square in Marrakech, used equally by locals and tourists. The origin of its name remains unknown. It means: Assembly of Death. It also means Eternal Assembly, but as the word Jemaa also means mosque in Arabic, it could also mean place of the vanished mosque, in reference to a destroyed Almoravid mosque.
During the day, this square is predominantly occupied by orange juice stalls water sellers, snake charmers, story-teller, magicians and peddlers of traditional medicines. As dark descends, the square fills with dozens of food –stalls and the crowds are at their height.
This square is undoubtedly Marrakech’s main tourist attraction. This bustling square is listed by UNESCO as a “Masterpiece of World Heritage“. There are many food stalls in Jemaa el Fna and every visitor should try to eat there at least once. A great way to get your Vitamin C from orange juice stalls.
Walk around on the square at dawn. You won’t be bored.
Make a round and then settle in for another mint tea at a surrounding café, take a deep breath and jump in again.
Bahia Palace is the most beautiful palace in Marrakech. It was built in the late 19th century. 8 hectares, 5 hectares of apartments and 3 of gardens. This palace was set up by Bahmad ben Moussa, a grand vizir of the sultan. This Palace would bear the name of one of his wives.
The Palace is composed of 2 parts: the administrative part and Harem court. This palace served as the residence of the French resident general, Lyautey.
The palace follows the patterns of typical Islamic architecture, with central courtyard having rooms leading off, with doorways that are placed so that you cannot see beyond (providing privacy). Fountains and gardens are also typical features, along with the decorative stucco panels, tiled floors and zellij work.
Do not miss this beautiful palace. It is another good example of Moroccan architecture. You will find everything you imagine about a palace from 1001 nights.
Medersa ben Yousef
The Medersa ben Youssef is a Koranic school that dates from the 14th century. It is the largest theological college in the Maghreb. To enter the Medersa you have to buy a ticket. It is better to buy a combined ticket to give you access to the Marrakesh Museum and Koubba Almoravid (neighbouring temple). Inside everything is quite. All walls, arcades, doors and ceilings are decorated with geometric decorations. Upstairs, the students’ rooms are very basic cells, exactly 132 cells. This site reminds the one of the Alhambra in Granada.
Walking down a corridor you turn right into a courtyard with a large pool. You will be mesmerised by the stunning reflection of the door in the pool. The doorway is decorated with panels of Koranic verses. Climb the stairs for views of the students’ cells and peep through the windows for a secret view onto the streets below.
Do not miss! A rare opportunity for a non-Muslim to get inside a medersa and see how it looks like from inside. Avery interesting experience, though of course the students are long gone.
The Saadian Tombs go back to the 16th century and they are located near the Kasbah Mosque in the Kasbah district. These tombs were only discovered recently in 1917, and were restored the Bureaux Art Service. This cemetery is composed of 3 rooms.
The most beautiful is the room with the 12 columns, where the Sultan Ahmed Almansour Addahbi is buried with his first two sons. Outside the building are a garden and the graves of soldiers and servants. This beautiful necropolis looks more like a garden than a cemetery. There is a superb white datura and palm trees at the entrance. The tombs are richly decorated with coloured mosaics. These tombs are entered through a narrow passage way, which opens into a gardened area, surrounded by walls.