Hotels in Marrakesh
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Boutique romantic Hotels in Marrakech
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Get to know Marrakesh
THE MEDINA OF MARRAKESH
Palaces, mosques, bazaars, riads… Lose yourself in the old city’s labyrinth of streets
The heart of Marrakesh
is its Medina, or old city, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985. Its sixteen kilometers of fortified perimeter houses the city’s main monuments and the lively bazaars, cafés, plazas and hammams that characterize the Red City.
The Medina bears the weight of Marrakesh’s history. Various dynasties existed here, from the Almoravids to the Alaouites (to which the current king, Mohammed VI, belongs), passing through the ages of splendor of the Almohads and the Saudis. The presence of sultans and viceroys, and the work of numerous local artisans, resulted in the beautiful palaces, mosques, gardens, madrasas and mausoleums that we can still admire today.
Spectacular bastions of red earth outline the Medina. Once inside, it’s easy to lose yourself in its narrow and intricate streets. Whether it’s your first or fourth time in Marrakesh, every walk in the city begins in the famous Plaza of Djemaa el-Fna, the neuralgic center where you can find everything: snake charmers, orange juice and water vendors, spice kiosks, street music or street theater. It’s a never-ending show that’s worth seeing at every time of the day.
As a reference point in case you get lost, and to help you return to Djemaa el-Fna and its surroundings, there is the magnificent minaret of the Koutoubia mosque, prototype of the Giralda of Seville and Le Tour Hassan of Rabat. This minaret is no less than 70-meters-high. Koutoubia is the most important mosque of Marrakesh. Five times a day, it is surrounded by a halo of spirituality, with the voice of the muezzin calling Muslims to prayer.
North of the Medina, a small stop must be made in the Rahba plaza to take a look at its stands selling potions and curing remedies for all types of sicknesses. A bit further north is the Madrasa Alí ibn Yusuf that stands out with its solemn decoration. The coffered ceiling of the vestibule cupolas, the latticework balconies and marvelous Andalusiaes of the patios are some examples. The visit requires time to admire the exterior and to get to know the interior of what was in its day the most important center of Koranic studies in North Africa.
If you are an art-lover or you want to discover the creativity of Marrakesh’s artists, take a trip to the Museum of Marrakesh, the ancient Mnebhi Palace and Dar Bellarj, which was converted into the first art center of the city. If you prefer wandering, you can contemplate the Mouassine Fountain, take a look at the work that is happening in the numerous fondouqs (inns with artisan workshops on the first floor) or bargain-hunt in the bazaars of the Medina.
The southern part of the Medina is where you can find the grand palaces and luxurious riads, traditional Moroccan homes built around a central patio, of Marrakesh. In Dar Si Said, the current Museum of Moroccan Art, the painted-wood cupola of of the nuptial chamber, the carved door, the dagger collection and the views from the harem’s patio are all impressive.In the Bahia Palace, the artisanal painting of the roofs stands out. You also can’t miss the ruins of the el-Badi Palace, the Ba’adiyn Koubba (or chapel), the Royal Palace and, above all, the Saadíes Tombs and the famous Chamber of the Twelve Columns, the luxurious room where the Sultan Ahmed al-Mansour is buried.
To complete the visit to the Medina, other interesting places are the Maison Tiskiwin, dedicated to the distinct regions of Morocco; the mellah, the nucleus of the Jewish community, with its synagogue, market and cemetery. And we can’t forget about food, which is more traditional in the Medina. The ideal way to try everything is to go about tasting different samples throughout the day. Try the green olives, the white-bean soup, the salads, the couscous and the tagine. Finish with a cup of coffee or mint tea, and some almond-based sweets.
Relaxation in the Medina is guaranteed thanks to its hammams and in its enchanting riads, traditional Moroccan homes built around a central patio. Our Rusticae hotels in Marrakesh
are in fresh and elegant riads of the Old City that, with outward-facing doors, invite you to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the Medina, and with their inward-facing doors, invite you to relax in a private environment, with beautiful architecture and decoration, with every necessity covered.
Hoteles en Marrakech