Marrakech: The warm "land of God", destination of celebrities, source of inspiration and human wealth

It is the best tourist destination in the world in 2015, and one of the best tourist destinations in general. It is a city of history and cultural diversity. A city of joys, colors, warmth, art, food, and ancient traditions.

It is very difficult to reduce the city to a few lines, and it is more difficult to surround it through a single visit, so be prepared to visit Marrakech in order to visit it again.

The city has witnessed the passage and residence of a number of international writers and artists, who have taken it as a residence or as a subject for their creations, as it is a city that encourages creativity.

The city of Marrakech is the city of time travel, from wandering through the picturesque alleys of the ancient city, which dates back to the Middle Ages, to the famous Jemaa El Fna Square, where an atmosphere of joy prevails from ancient times as if time had stopped completely there.

From there, as far as the eye can see, the symbol of the city stands erect. The magnificent 12th-century Koutoubia minaret, with decoration similar to the Giralda in Seville or the Hassan minaret in Rabat.

And if you are a fan of the East, you should visit the magnificent Bahia Palace, where you evoke the time of secret patios in an elegance that is also embodied in the amazing Andalusian gardens.

This is Marrakech, which opens its doors to you and the doors of ancient history that Morocco witnessed and extended to Andalusia for centuries.

History speaks

The founding of Marrakesh dates back to the time of the Almoravids, and exactly in the year 1062, by Abu Bakr bin Omar Al-Lamtouni, the leader of the Almoravids and cousin of the great leader Youssef bin Tashfin.

There are different accounts about the name Marrakech, as some believe that the word is derived from a Berber word meaning "pass quickly", and others believe that "Aksh" is the name of an ancient god, while others see that the name "Marrakech" is due to a Berber word meaning "God's land".

The name Marrakech was called the state of Morocco in the past, and it remained so until the era of the French occupation in the modern era, and this name is still in circulation in most languages with some distortion, so it is pronounced, for example, in Persian "Marrakesh" as it is, and Spanish "Marruecos" and English "Morocco".

Marrakech was known, especially during the rule of the Saadian state, as a "red city" because most of its houses were painted red, and since then it has kept the red color in a characteristic that distinguishes it from the rest of the cities in the world, and how beautiful and bright it looks with the reflection of the sunset light on its homes.

Among the names of Marrakech is also the "City of Seven Men", a designation attributed by researchers to a group of senior scholars and Sufis who lived in the city and played a major role in spreading awareness among its inhabitants.

And Marrakech, under the rule of the Alawites, received interest in the days of Sultan Sidi Muhammad, so many neighborhoods and monuments were built in it, and a number of its mosques, walls, and prominent landmarks were restored.

City of celebrities and great weather

Accommodation opportunities in Marrakech are suitable for different types of visitors and tourists, between accommodations and apartments within reach, and between what is luxurious and charming. Riads here open its doors to lovers of everything that is authentic and traditional, with indoor gardens and an Andalusian patio in which the fragrant history blends with the magic of nature.

And the luxury classified hotels here as well, a number of which have been classified as the best hotels in the world, and combine in their architecture what is authentic and contemporary.

The wonderful thing about Marrakech is that it is a sunny city most of the time of the year, as it gives you wonderful sunbathing in the summer, and pleasant warmth in the fall, spring, and winter seasons. And because its secrets are endless, Marrakech is surrounded by the Atlas Mountains, whose steep slopes are an invitation to adventure, where you can hike through hills and valleys crisscrossed on suspension bridges.

Why not try climbing Mount Toubkal, for example, or visit its national park, which includes the largest adventure park in Africa? Where the ropes lines, ropes courses, and aerial bridges allow you to get the height of the thrill.

The mountainous surroundings of Marrakech also give you the opportunity to ski in the winter days, the Oukaïmeden region adjacent to the city contains all the amenities you would expect, plus it tempts you with the option to ski all day before heading to the more temperate climate of Marrakech in the evening.

It is also beautiful that the city is known for the popularity of world-famous people, either for permanent residence or in order to celebrate their special occasions such as birthdays or weddings, such as Jennifer Lopez, Maitre James, Adriana Karembeu, David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo, and others.

And the matter does not stop there, as the city has become a real destination for famous investors such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Robert De Niro, and others, due to its great tourist attraction and adequate infrastructure.

who knows? You may encounter a big party for one of these stars during your stay in the city's hotels. Staying in Marrakech hotels is not just an overnight stay, it is a world open to all the beautiful surprises and secrets.

Arrival and transportation in Marrakech

Marrakech is located in southern Morocco at the foot of the Atlas Mountains, 327 km from the capital, Rabat. The city is characterized by a semi-arid climate, with mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers, which makes any period of the year very suitable for visiting, wandering, and discovering.

Marrakech can be reached by more than one means of transportation, and from different parts of the world and Morocco destinations. The city has a network of transportation and modern roads, and it has a railway and an international airport, which is the second in Morocco in terms of passenger traffic.

Menara International Airport is the main point of arrival and departure from outside Morocco towards Marrakech, and you can reach it through more than one airline, including low-cost ones, and from various European cities in particular, in addition to Turkey and African destinations such as Dakar or Cape Verde.

Upon arrival, Petit taxis will cost you about 60 dirhams for a trip during the day and 80 dirhams for a night trip, to move to the city center, and you can agree with the driver if you want to go to a specific destination.

As for inside Morocco, you can reach the city by bus from several Moroccan cities, or by train through direct flights linking the city with major cities such as Rabat and Casablanca, or other indirect ones, in the case of traveling from Tangier, for example, and the prices of trips vary according to the destination.

As for moving within the city of Marrakech, it is easy and convenient due to the variety of means of transportation, between public buses and Petit taxis (which are more practical) and Grand ones.

Marrakech also gives you more beautiful and environmentally friendly options, such as the possibility of renting motorcycles or riding horse-drawn carts, which are called “Kotchi” in Marrakech.

As for accommodation, the city of Marrakech has an important hotel infrastructure, as it includes more than 1,400 accommodation units, including more than 170 classified hotels, as well as guesthouses, rental apartments, and other various offers, with a total of 75 thousand beds that suit different budgets, and all types of tourists, whether they are individuals or families.

Jemaa El Fna and the old city

The best place to start your visit to Marrakech is Jemaa El Fna square, in one moment you suddenly return to the past with storytellers, street artists, snake charmers, and herbalists who offer their secret medicines.

The Jamaa El Fna square was classified by UNESCO as part of the Oral Human Heritage List in 1997. Its establishment dates back, according to some historical sources, to about four centuries. It was originally a commercial market that people from all over the world came to.

In Jemaa El Fna, you will find enchanting entertainment shows in front of you, in addition to various tables and foods that invite you to savor its delicious, pungent taste, full of spices that characterize the region.

A few steps away, you will find a "drink and see" fountain in front of you near the Ben Youssef Mosque, on which a phrase is engraved calling on passers-by to "drink and see what will happen."

And without straying too far, do not resist the call of the ancient city, with its markets filled with thousands of goods, dresses, and traditional jewelry, hidden behind majestic walls dating back to the twelfth century, where the Arab-Andalusian gardens, which house the Saadian tombs, give you a moment of tranquility that takes you away from the crowds of people.

And not far from that, there is nothing wrong with an unparalleled view of the roofs of the entire city from the balconies of the Badi Palace. As for the northeastern corner, you can contemplate the ancient pulpit of the Koutoubia Mosque, a pulpit decorated with delicate carvings and inlays of exquisite beauty.

Palaces and mosques

If you are a fan of ancient architecture, head straight toward the Badi Palace, which is truly considered one of the jewels of architecture in Morocco. It was built by the Saadi Sultan Ahmed al-Mansur al-Dhahabi in the year 1578, and for its construction, he used the most skilled Moroccan and foreign engineers, which some historians describe as one of the wonders of the world.

As for the Bahia Palace, which had an original area of ​​22 thousand square meters before the construction of some facilities inside its garden, it is truly an architectural masterpiece covered with decorations and mosaics and includes many halls, suites, vast ponds, and large gardens that contain large quantities of plants, in addition to the park. And the garden includes a well-known cistern called “Agdal Ba Ahmad”, which is the name of the founder of the palace, Minister Ahmed Benmoussi, nicknamed “Ba Ahmad”, who named the palace after one of his wives.

And here is the Koutoubia Mosque, one of the most important mosques in the Maghreb, which was built in the twelfth century, also invites you to discover the greatness of architecture in the city of Marrakech. The minaret of the mosque decorated in the Andalusian style, which is very similar to the minaret of La Giralda in Seville, is the most important visual historical landmark that enables you to see most of the city’s areas due to its height of about 77 meters.

Lush gardens

The Menara Gardens is a group of gardens established in the twelfth century and includes a group of tree species in the middle of an artificial pond, which should not be missed to visit.

As for the Majorelle Gardens, which dates back to the French painter Jacques Majorelle when he decided to create an unprecedented garden on a piece of land he acquired in 1924, it is indeed a popular tourist destination for many. This garden was restored by the French fashion designer, Yves Saint Laurent, after he bought it in 1980, as it is distinguished by the diversity of its plants were brought from five continents and reached 350 species, in addition to palm trees that are more than 100 years old, bamboo and cacti of all kinds. The park includes an Islamic museum containing artifacts dating back thousands of years.

Museums: Colors and smells

How beautiful it is to get lost in the city of Marrakech, where you find in front of you, wherever you turn your face, a monument, a palace, a museum, or a garden. Here is the Ben Youssef School, the Quranic school that in the past attracted hundreds of students. And here is the Marrakech Museum, which was recently created in the Palace of Menbhi, whose construction dates back to the nineteenth century, presenting to you eight centuries of artistic and craft traditions in Morocco.

There is also the Museum of the Art of Living, where the importance of the museum and its exhibitions is complemented and integrated with the vast space, where you can enter the historical building that it embraces, which is a Riyad, and learn about its characteristics and the architecture of its construction. As for the Museum Dar Tisquin, it is really an imaginary journey in the footsteps of the ancient caravan routes: from southern Europe to its north, in the form of thematic exhibits, and a collection of artifacts.

And if you go a little to the east, you will find the tanners' neighborhood, which is indispensable for you to visit, as you will be on a real journey in the middle of the world of smells and colors.

Kitchen: The magic of taste

Marrakech cuisine has a reputation comparable to that of the city, as Marrakech is the only Arab city whose dishes entered the list of Business Insider magazine. In 2015, Marrakech dishes ranked 11th on the list of the 25 best cities in the world.

Let's start with the "Babouch" meal or snails cooked with great care, then we will move on to the "Marrakech pastilla" stuffed with chicken livers, and the "Bawlo" meal consisting of steamed lamb's head. Marrakech is also famous for its "Bakula" and sausages called "Markaz", in addition to the Marrakech "Chebakia", which is served with Moroccan tea with mint or other herbs upon request.

The tour of the Marrakech kitchen is not complete without tasting the "Marrakech Tanjia", which is considered the most famous food in the city, as it is prepared by cooking in warm ashes, after which the Tanjia is buried after the fire has been extinguished in a pottery pot under the ashes for 6 hours, to become ready to eat.
All of these meals can be eaten in popular restaurants surrounding Jemaa El Fna square in particular, or even in luxury restaurants, according to your choice.

More "secrets"

Despite all of the above, what Marrakech hides more than it shows, its secrets and pleasures are many, so within its paths or behind its walls, or even in the many tourist areas surrounding it, you may find your way or your beautiful story that you will tell your friends and acquaintances when you return, and when you invite them - for sure - to another journey towards the land of magic: "The land of God" or Marrakech.

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