Morocco - Marrakech
City of Culture and the
capital of Southern Morocco
Marrakech benefits from an exceptional
geographic location on the fertile Haouz Plain. Like a gateway,
it supports major projects, it is at the moment expanding, doors
open, preparing for the future. Marrakech's location on the
crossroads of the ancient caravan routes from Timbuktou made
it a key destination for trade and reprieve.
The meeting place for the Berber
and Arab worlds, Marrakech is a mingling of nomads and mountain
people as they come together to produce the unchallenged capital
of Southern Morocco
This gives the city a feeling of action. With her cultural cafes
and culture overflow this 1000 year old Imperial
City has a history which stretches through many dynasties.
In this time the dominating ochre-coloured ramparts have seen
many changes, from the kings of old who fought for the control,
to the Moroccan families who inherited the land.
You will not be able to forget
Marrakech for the memory of every imaginable commodity which
can be found in this city. Here objects are brought and sold
in the time honored style, where the tea, is part of the ritual
and communicating is a way of life.
Marrakech came in to the
history books as Almoravide territory in 1070 and eventually
became the capital of their empire. In 1147, the Almohad Sultan,
Abd el Moumen captured the town. Marrakech flourished under
Almohad rule becoming the Arabic Center for philosophical studies
while growing rich on leather, sugar and ceramic exports to
This period of prosperity was
followed by fifty years of dynastic struggles and general decline.
In 1269, it lost its status as capital when the Merinids seized
power and transferred the capital to Fes. By 1522, when the
Saadians took control, the city was ruined and decimated by
famine. They made Marrakech the capital of southern Morocco
and when the Moroccan empire was reunified, it became an imperial
In the second half of the 16th
century, Marrakech was restored to its glory Famine, rebellion,
and wars struck during the first half of the 17th century. In
1699, the Alaouite Sultan, Moulay Richard captured the town
and transferred the capital back to the city of Fes. Through
the mid 18th century, Mohammed III restored the city and its
capital status. In 1912, General Lyautey, France's first
resident general in Morocco, made the decision to once again
relieve Marrakech of its capital status and pass it over to
By day the Djemaa el-Fna is on
tick-over with snake charmers, musicians, herbalists, fortune
tellers and water sellers playing the crowd for pictures and
energy. As the sun goes down sample the oranges from one of
the sellers, as they push their fresh vitamin filled drinks
from one of the 60 independent producers.
At night the Djemaa El Fna comes
alive with food vendors selling nearly every Moroccan dish imaginable
at low prices and in large quantities. The fire eaters weave
their integrate patterns into the nightsky, with the ever increasing
crowds pushing the performers to higher levels of endurance.
The story tellers, public scribes, fortunetellers, potion sellers,
healers and numerous other shows are all part of the equation,
where each night 1000's of people will investigate the open
air market guided by the butane lamps and the cry of the sellers
The number of entertainers increases as the light drops keep
your eye out for the traveling actors and story tellers who
are passing through the city. The scene takes on a distinctly
artistic flavor through the night as strong men, musicians,
dancers, story tellers, animal handlers, and other shows draw
the ever increasing crowds to higher levels of life's joys as
they perform to the unique sounds of Marrakech.
Eating out at the Djemma Your
food and the kitchen are fresh... While you eat out at the food
stalls, you can watch your next culinary delight being cooked
in front of you.