14 June 2015

A Quick Tour of Magical Marrakech


Fancy a quick picture tour of Marrakech?

Let's go!

The Kasbah Mosque and the Saadian Tombs - Saadian Sultan Ahmed al-Mansour ed-Dahbi imported Italian Carrara marble and gilding honeycomb muqarnas (decorative plasterwork) with pure gold to make the Chamber of the 12 Pillars a suitably glorious mausoleum. Al-Mansour played favourites even in death, keeping alpha-male princes handy in the Chamber of the Three Niches, and relegating to garden plots some 170 chancellors and wives – though some trusted Jewish advisors earned pride of place, literally closer to the king’s heart than his wives or sons. All tombs are overshadowed by his mother’s mausoleum in the courtyard, carved with poetic, weathered blessings and vigilantly guarded by stray cats. Al-Mansour died in splendour in 1603, but a few decades later, Alawite Sultan Moulay Ismail walled up the Saadian Tombs to keep his predecessors out of sight and mind. They were sealed up for centuries until rediscovery in 1917.
Exquisitely beautiful El Bahia Palace is19th century palace with over 160 rooms. It was a residence of About Ahmed, a former African slave who rose to power and became grand vizier to the Sultan who had 4 wives and harem of 24 concubines. The rooms are decorated with pretty mosaics and beautifully carved woodwork and cedar ceilings. Definitely fine example of Moroccan architecture and design.


It took French painter Jacques Majorelle forty years of hard work and dedication to create enchanting Majorelle Gardens in the heart of the 'Ochre City'.

The Majorelle Garden became famous abroad when their former owner fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, featured it in the 1997 Chelsea Flower Show in London. He was born in Oran, Algeria and was considered one of the greatest figures in French fashion in the 20th century.

You walk in the midst of trees and exotic plans, past fountains and pools filled with water lilies, lotus flowers and turtles, listening to the sound of fifteen different species of birds chirping away. Contrasting the endless shades of green is Majorelle Blue painted all around buildings and fountains. It is such a breathtakingly beautiful, charming and calming place that you feel miles away from the bustling city of Marrakech. Yet, the garden is within the red walled city.

Jemaa el Fna Square, the main square and certainly the focal point for the whole city. Open-air theatre with snake charmers, market sellers, henna tattoo artists, food sellers, you name it. Highly recommend to sit in one of the numberous roof top cafes to get a good vista over the square. In the evening, it turns into a carnival of acrobats, musicians and food stalls selling everything from fresh juices to cooked snails. If you watch anyone perform, expect to pay and always ask first before taking a picture.
The Souks - the place to be ripped off, hassled endlessly, runover by the scooters, lost numerous! times, unwillingly henna tattooed, and seduced by endless food stalls... Tiring, hot, overwhelming yet absolutely fascinating place to visit in the heart of Medina. You simply cannot miss it, but be prepared to get lost several times; it's a huge labyrinth of turns and dead ends. Just pay attention, you could end up with a monkey on your shoulder or a snake wrapped around your arm!






Absolutely fascinating city, which I cannot wait to visit again. Soon.
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2 comments

  1. Anonymous18.6.15

    Beautiful photos,love!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous18.6.15

    Such a magical place Morocco, isnt it? I loved my trip to Marrakech and it seems you too :)
    Miriam

    ReplyDelete

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