Marrakech Journals

The mysterious city of Morocco

An April 2004 trip to Marrakech by linet

Riad Azzar Photo, Marrakech, Morocco More Photos
Quote: Morocco is the gateway to Africa from Europe. In Marrakesh, Islamic culture and European colonial culture are both present. It is a magical city and very chaotic.

The mysterious city of Morocco

Overview

Quote:
The first thing to notice in Marrakesh is the color: red. It is red everywhere: buildings, city walls, palaces, even mosques. The founders of Marrakesh have spread so much blood that this redness is its reflection. Djeema el-fna at dusk is a highlight of itself. El Badi and Bahia palaces, Saadian tombs are also other musts of Marrakesh. Of course, you can't say that you have been to Marrakesh until you have been lost in one of the Souks. Jardin Majorelle, Bin yusuf Medrese, Koutubia Mosque are other highlights, even though you are not allowed in the mosque if you are not Muslim. Quick Tips: Moroccan cuisine is something you should not miss during your visit: tagines, couscous, and the sweet m...Read More

Riad Azzar

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel

Riad Azzar Photo, Marrakech, Morocco
Quote:
Located five minutes away from the Djeema el-fna, this riad is a great opportunity to get acquainted with Marrakesh for its central location, discreet architecture and excellent hosts who do anything to make you comfortable. They will pick you up at where you want and you will be welcomed with small gestures like tea and cookies on the house. They will make reservations or arrange a hammam (Turkish bath) for you. Dutch owners have the eye for detail and rooms are decorated tastefully. Authentic and creative breakfast is served on the terrace. They will also inform you about riads. Built between thick and high walls, these miracles of Moroccan architecture take care that no noise or dust can come in...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 15, 2004

Riad Azzar
94, Derb Moulay Abdelkader - Medina
Marrakesh, Morocco
+212 (6) 6115-8179

Dar Mima

Restaurant

Quote:
Excellent opportunity to experience traditional Moroccan cuisine with Moroccan wines. Wash your right hand with the water brought to your table. This is more ceremonial today than practical reasons.

Tajine was a bit too fat, but that's the way it should be, I am told. Decoration is very elegant and general atmosphere of the restaurant is very romantic.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 15, 2004

Dar Mima
9 Derb Zaouia El Kadiria Riad Zitoune J’did Medine
Marrakesh, Morocco
(44) 385-252

El Badi Palace

Attraction

El Badi Palace Photo, Marrakech, Morocco
Quote:
When it was built by Ahmed El Mansour in the 15th century, this building was considered the masterpiece of Islamic architecture and the city had reached its peak of civilisation. Unfortunately, it has been destroyed by Moulay Ismail, like most of the city. Today, there is little left of this marvellous building: just the big red walls and a garden in the middle. Storks have made nests on the walls and you can go up the tower to enjoy views of Marrakesh.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 15, 2004

El Badi Palace
Place Des Ferblantiers
Marrakesh, Morocco

Djemaa el Fna/Jamma el-Fnaa

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Attraction | "Souks"

Djemaa el Fna/Jamma el-Fnaa Photo, Marrakech, Morocco
Quote:
Entrance to the Souk of Marresh starts at the north of Djeema el-Fna. Make sure that you have no false guide while you are entering the souks because if you do so, he will get commission from everything you buy! There may be some locals chasing you to hire them at the entrance, but once in the souks, you should be left alone. There are carpet souks, carpenters, dyers souks, spice souks where you can also see very unusual material which locals still use in witchcraft and mostly illegal in many countries (teeth, and parts of rare animals), babush (colorful slippers) souks can all be visited. You should have the courage to negotiate in souks. Even though I was told to pay half of the first t...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 15, 2004

Djemaa el Fna/Jamma el-Fnaa
Medina Quarter
Marrakesh, Morocco

Bahia Palace and Gardens

Attraction | "El Bahia Palace"

Bahia Palace and Gardens Photo, Marrakech, Morocco
Quote:
Built by a smart vizier in the 19th century, El Bahia palace is almost fully preserved to this day. This man had four wives and he built a home for these ladies where each have their own quarters and would not run into each other in daily life. There are cool gardens in the middle of every quarter with orange trees. Even though visual some decorations are really exaggerated. Don't miss the tiles, wooden doors and the ceilings.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 15, 2004

Bahia Palace and Gardens
Along Northern Edge Of Mellah
Marrakesh, Morocco 40000
05244 45230

Medersa Ben Youssef

Attraction

Medersa Ben Youssef Photo, Marrakech, Morocco
Quote:
This strong building was built in the 14th century to serve as an Islamic university. Please note that Islamic civilisation was living its best times in the 14th century: not yet corrupt with false ideas, free thinking and creativity was encouraged as well as astronomy and medical practices. 900 students could study in this building at once. Serving as a boarding school to all these students, there was of course competition to get the best room. Popular students, darlings of the teachers would get large rooms with street or garden view, while others would have to share small, dark holes.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 15, 2004

Medersa Ben Youssef
Place Ben Youssef
Marrakesh, Morocco
(044) 39 09 11

Jardin Majorelle

Attraction

Jardin Majorelle Photo, Marrakech, Morocco
Quote:
These gardens were almost forgotten when artist Majorelle has passed away. Fortunately Yves Saint-Laurent has renovated this garden. Today a contradictory color: blue is common in the garden because Marrakesh is a red city. There are small ponds and shadow for hot summer days. There is also a museum of Islamic art in this garden. Jardin Majorelle is getting more popular each day, therefore it is a better idea to visit early in the morning before French fill it in. You can then hear the birds and sound of leaves in the cool morning breeze.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 15, 2004

Jardin Majorelle
Ave Yacoub el-Mansour
Marrakesh, Morocco
(00212) 044 30 18 52

Saadian Tombs

Attraction

Saadian Tombs Photo, Marrakech, Morocco
Quote:
These are the only things which have survived the anger and terror of Moulay Ismail in the city of Marrakesh thanks to his respect for the dead. These were locked and were not opened except for the burial of mad Sultan Moulay Yazid in 18th century. They were discovered by the French, and one of the oldest well-preserved monuments in the city. There are simply graves of Saadian kingdom family inside a beautiful building which is covered by tiles.

Please note that visiting gravesites is a taboo for Moroccan and Islamic culture, so it is kind if you dress conservatively and be silent.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 15, 2004

Saadian Tombs
Next To Kasbah Mosque, Off Rue De La Kasbah
Marrakesh, Morocco

Djemaa el Fna/Jamma el-Fnaa

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Attraction | "Djemaa al-Fna"

Djemaa el Fna/Jamma el-Fnaa Photo, Marrakech, Morocco
Quote:
It is not like anything I have seen. Formerly, each Moroccan city had a central square were criminals were punished and men could socialise after work day at dusk. It is a question why this tradition has survived in Djemaa al-Fna while it has disappeared in other places. You can eat at one of the food-stalls. Each has a number so you can remember it next day. There are almost all type of food sellers: sheep heads, kebabs, orange juice, dried fruit sellers. There are women making henna - don't worry, it will go off in two weeks if you wash as much as me. There are the dentists, witch doctors to consult your troubles, singers, dancers, magicians, snake charmers and water sellers. ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 15, 2004

Djemaa el Fna/Jamma el-Fnaa
Medina Quarter
Marrakesh, Morocco