Marrakech

Marrakech-“Moroccan City”,as early foreign travellers called it – has always been something of a pleasure city , a Marketplace where the southern tribesmen and Berber Villagers bring in their goods , spend their money and find entertainment. For visitors it’s an enduring fantasy – a city of immense beauty , low , red and tent – like before a great shaft of mountains – and immediately exciting. At the heart of it all is a square, Djemaa el Fna , really no more than an open space in the center of the city , but the stage for a long- established ritual in which shifting circles of onlookers gather round groups of acrobats, drummers, pipe musicians,dancers, story- tellers , comedians and fairground acts . However many times you return there, it remains compelling. So ,too , do the city’s architectural attractions: the immense, still basins of the Agdal and Menara gardens, the delicate Granada-style carving of the Saadian Tombs and , above all, the Koutoubia Minaret, the most perfect Islamic monument in North Africa.
It won’t take you long to see why Marrakech is called the Red City.the natural red ochre pigment that bedecks its walls and buildings can at times seem dominant, but there’s no shortage of other colours. Like all Moroccan cities, it’s town of two halves:the ancient walled Medina, founded by Sultan Youssef Ben Tachfine in the Middle Ages, and the colonial Ville Nouvelle, built by the French in the mid- twentieth century.Each has its own delights – the Medina with it’s ancient palaces and mansions, labyrinthine souks and deeply traditional way of life , and the Ville Nouvelle with its pavement cafes, trendy boutique, gardens and boulevards. Marrakech has become Morocco’s capital of chic , attracting the rich and famous from Europe and beyond. Though the vast majority of its residents are poor by any European standard,an increasing number of wealthy visitors are taking up residence and their influence on the tourist experience is evident. Marrakech has Berber rather than Arab origins, having developed as the metropolis beyond the desert. Once upon a time, Marrakech was the entrepot for goods – slaves, gold , ivory and even “Morocco” leather- brought by caravan from the ancient empires of Mali and Songhay via their great desert port of Timbuktu . All of these strands of commerce and population shaped the city’s souks and its way of life, and even today , in the crowds and performers of the Djemaa el Fna, the nomadic and west African influence can still seem quite distinct.

pictures of Marrakech

Marrakech
Marrakech
Morocco sahara exploration