Morocco's cities: Marrakech

In the series with Morocco's cities we will focus the spotlight on Marrakech.

Marrakech is Morocco's third largest city and is also known as the red city, because most of the houses are painted red. The red city is beautifully situated at the foot of the Atlas mountains. The city has an important economic center with more and more emerging industries and markets, tourism plays a very large role. The city has 1,170,000 inhabitants.

The Almoravids in 1062 founded the city of Marrakech on and it was for a long time the capital of their empire. Next, the Meriniden dynasty which ruled over Morocco and Fez as the capital chosen over Marrakesh. Around 1162 was commissioned to build a mosque, the famous Koutoubia mosque. It used to be with a population of 200,000 people one of the biggest cities in the world. The core of the city declared a world heritage site by UNESCO.

The Djemaa el Fna square is in the heart of the medina and you can actually not miss during a visit to Marrakech. It is a great day not so busy and bustling square where you can make a walk through. in the evening it changes square in a big stage where your eyes. There are snake charmers, henna setters, acrobats and more stories translators, artists who show their talents on the big stage to the locals and tourists.

Have you getting hungry after a walk on the square? The smoke from the many eateries, where you can get a tasty meal for little money, is from a great distance. Also fresh juices and Yes boiled snails (boubousch) you can eat at one of the stalls.

A less cosy thought: the meaning of this square is "Square of death", there were once executions in the square.

Jardin majorelle or Majorreletuin. A walk through this special and creative landscaped garden provides for rest and relaxation. The buildings, ponds, and flower pots are cobalt blue (also called majorelle blue) and yellow painted. There grow rare plants, exotic flowers, beautiful high cacti and 15 species of birds live in the garden. There are benches where you can quietly enjoy the somewhat cooler weather in comparison with the great heat in the busy city.

Behind large walls is this normal looking old and great Palace. The Palace was built in 1880 and has about 160 rooms, there are beautiful gardens around it. The construction took about 10 years and that's plain to see to the special architecture. If you enter the Palace walk you through rooms that are equipped with beautiful floors, special ceiling paintings and glass mosaic.

It is a not so well known Palace, it is thereby also rather quiet. Wonderful to wander around in and the principles of the Moorish palace structure and the high standard of finish in the Arab living culture of the 19th century.

The Ben Youssef Madrassa is a Koran school in Marrakech, it is a fine example of Islamic architecture and sacred geometry in great artistic perfection.

The building is built around 1570 and there is a courtyard decorated with marble, cedar wood, special tile work and plaster ornaments. The school has developed into one of the most important Koranic schools with 900 students in the Islamic world and belongs to the largest in the whole of Africa.

A visit to this school provides a haven of peace in the hectic city, it also has a beautiful light for artistic photos. Highly recommended!

The stalls are in winding rows facing each other behind the Djemaa el Fna square. In the small alleys lead a large collection of colors and perfumes. There are souvenirs, dates, nuts, carpets, hats, clothing, shoes and 1000 and 1 other things for sale. So it looks a little off in the evening, as stalls from a fairy tale!

The modern and trendy face of Marrakech is the districts of Gueliz and Hivernage they are adjacent to the old Medina and are also called Ville Nouvelle. Characteristic of these districts are the wide boulevards with terraces where you can enjoy a cup of coffee or tea can do, luxury hotels, modern shopping centres and the classy restaurants.

Would you like a break from the world of the old traditional part of Marrakech then you are in no time in the modern area through a taxi ride or by sporting a piece of.

The Koutoubia mosque is the largest and most famous mosque of Marrakech. The mosque is located in the heart of the Centre of Marrakech, very close to Djemaa el Fna square. The minaret which measures 69 meters falls from almost any point in Marrakech on, this is often used by tourists as a landmark.

The Koutoubia mosque is alone worth a visit because of its impressive architecture, the architecture of the mosque is so special that the Hassan tower in Rabat and the Giralda in Seville are inspired on the Koutoubia mosque.

The warm continental climate of Marrakech ensures that the chance of rain is very small and that the temperatures rarely are too low. The winters are mild but something wetter, while the summers are often hot to broiling. The summer temperatures are usually above 30 and even 40 degrees. In winter the average maximum temperature between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius.

Would you like to soak and enjoy the warmth then Marrakech in the summer months an ideal holiday in the Sun. Do you like not by the domestic bright sun then you can visit the red city better in the other months, the temperatures are the most comfortable for an active holiday.

Marrakech has an airport, Menara international airport, has a train station and there are taxis. Furthermore, the city also has a bus network, the main attractions are good by bus. You can also use the open horse-drawn carriages that carry you through the city.

Morocco has so much beauty and features beautiful spots, more on this next week in the next city!

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