Marrakesh – A Moroccan Photoblog

A small side street, through an archway, one of many in Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com
A small side street, through an archway, one of many in Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com
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Exploring the Enchanting Charms of Marrakesh

Nestled in the heart of Morocco, Marrakesh is a city with vibrant colors, bustling souks, and rich cultural tapestry. This North African gem has long been a magnet for adventurers, artists, and seekers of exotic experiences. Let’s take a photographic stroll through the labyrinthine streets of Marrakesh, exploring its main attractions and immersing ourselves in its captivating culture.

1. Jemaa el-Fnaa Square: The Heartbeat of Marrakesh At the heart of the medina lies Jemaa el-Fnaa, a pulsating square that encapsulates the essence of Marrakesh. By day, it’s a marketplace teeming with snake charmers, storytellers, and local artisans, while by night, it transforms into a lively food haven with aromatic stalls serving traditional Moroccan delicacies. The square is a microcosm of the city’s energy and diversity.

Jemaa el Fnaa main square with cars and people. Image by 360onhistory.com

Jemaa el Fnaa main square with cars and people. Image by 360onhistory.com

Jemaa el Fnaa in Marrakesh. Image: 3600nhistory.com

Jemaa el Fnaa in Marrakesh. Image: 3600nhistory.com

Jemma el Fnaa Square in Marrakesh. By 360onhistory.com. Families can be seen walking towards the stalls in the main square.

Jemma el Fnaa Square in Marrakesh. Image: 360onhistory.com.

Jemaa el Fnaa side road. Image by 360onhistory.com

Jemaa el Fnaa side road. Image by 360onhistory.com

Stalls selling hats and other things at Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

Stalls selling hats and other things at Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

A man selling at Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

A man selling at Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

At night Jemaa El Fnaa completely transforms into a food hub with stalls selling local delicacies, street performers and bards telling stories. It is frequented by both locals and tourists. The name Jemaa El Fnaa translates to “assembly of the dead”, referring to public executions on the plaza around 1050 CE. The place is known for its active concentration of traditional activities by storytellers, musicians, and performers

The idea of the UNESCO project Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity came from people concerned about the Jamaa el Fna.

Horse carts at Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

Horse carts at Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

Story tellers getting ready to regale audiences with ancient Moroccan stories at Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

Story tellers getting ready to regale audiences with ancient Moroccan stories at Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

Two men sitting on plastic chairs with their back to the camera looking at the activity around Jemaa el Fnaa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

Two men sitting on chairs looking at the activity around Jemaa el Fnaa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

Stalls at Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

Stalls at Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

A stall with vender sitting next to it selling Argan Oil, Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

A stall with vender sitting next to it selling Argan Oil, Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

A man in very colourful clothes holding a case with watches at Jamaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

A man in very colourful clothes holding a case with watches at Jamaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

People bustling around stalls at Jemaa el Fnaa at night. Image by 360onhistory.com

People bustling around stalls selling argan oil products at Jemaa el Fnaa at night. Image by 360onhistory.com

People bustling around at Jemaa el Fnaa at night. Image by 360onhistory.com

People bustling around at Jemaa el Fnaa at night. Image by 360onhistory.com

People bustling around at Jemaa el Fnaa at night. Image by 360onhistory.com

People bustling around at Jemaa el Fnaa at night. Image by 360onhistory.com

A man in white chef's coat and hat selling local delicacy, snail soup, at Jemaa el Fnaa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

A man in white chef’s coat and hat selling local delicacy, snail soup, at Jemaa el Fnaa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

A food stall with chef selling food at Jemaa el Fnaa square in Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

A food stall with chef selling food at Jemaa el Fnaa square in Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

 

2. Koutoubia Mosque: A Soaring Symbol Dominating the skyline with its elegant minaret, the Koutoubia Mosque is a symbol of Marrakesh. Dating back to the 12th century, this masterpiece of Almohad architecture stands as a testament to the city’s rich history. Visitors can admire the mosque’s intricate details and explore the surrounding gardens for a serene escape from the urban hustle.

This towering landmark in Marrakesh, boasts the title of the city’s largest mosque. Built in 1158 after an initial construction in 1147, it stands as a testament to Almohad architecture and Moroccan mosque design.

Its soaring minaret, reaching 77 meters (253 ft) into the sky, is adorned with intricate geometric arches and crowned with a gleaming spire and metal orbs. This iconic landmark likely inspired other structures like the Giralda of Seville and the Hassan Tower of Rabat.

The mosque’s name, “Koutoubia,” hints at its past. Derived from the Arabic word for “booksellers,” it reflects the bustling book trade once thriving in the nearby souk. While the vendors may be gone, the Koutoubia Mosque remains a majestic symbol of Marrakesh.

MInaret of Koutoubia Mosque from a distance at night. Image by 360onhistory.com

MInaret of Koutoubia Mosque from a distance at night. Image by 360onhistory.com

Top of the minaret and front wall of Koutoubia Mosque, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

Top of the minaret and front wall of Koutoubia Mosque, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

Side wall of Koutoubia Mosque with ornate islamic style porticos and doors. Image by 360onhistory.com

Side wall of Koutoubia Mosque with ornate islamic style porticos and doors. Image by 360onhistory.com

A side wall to the Koutoubia Mosque to the left with a palm tree on the tiled path going around the walls. Image by 360onhistory.com

A side wall to the Koutoubia Mosque to the left with a palm tree on the tiled path going around the walls. Image by 360onhistory.com

Sideview of the 12th century Koutoubia Mosque and its front yard with pillars, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

Sideview of the 12th century Koutoubia Mosque and its front yard with pillars, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

Sideview of the 12th century Koutoubia Mosque and its front yard with pillars, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

Sideview of the 12th century Koutoubia Mosque and its front yard with pillars, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

Sideview of The 12th century Koutoubia Mosque and its front yard with pillars, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

Sideview of the 12th century Koutoubia Mosque and its front yard with pillars, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

Side wall of Koutoubia Mosque, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

Side wall of Koutoubia Mosque, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

The 12th century Koutoubia Mosque and its front yard with pillars, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

The 12th century Koutoubia Mosque and its front yard with pillars, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

Koubba of Lalla Zohra near Koutoubia Mosque, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

Koubba of Lalla Zohra near Koutoubia Mosque, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

Minaret of the 12th century Koutoubia Mosque, Marrakesh. Image 360onhistory.com

Minaret of the 12th century Koutoubia Mosque, Marrakesh. Image 360onhistory.com

 

3. The Ben Youssef Madrasais an Islamic madrasa (college) in Marrakesh, Morocco. Functioning today as a historical site, the Ben Youssef Madrasa was the largest Islamic college in the Maghreb at its height. The madrasa is named after the adjacent Ben Youssef Mosque built by the Almoravid Sultan Ali ibn Yusuf in the early 12th century, and was commissioned by the Saadian Sultan Abdallah al-Ghalib in the 16th century.

Image looks up towards a skylight with various square balconies rising up at the Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

Image looks up towards a skylight with various square balconies rising up at the Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

A khateeb (scribe) in a blue turban and white clothes sitting at a table and doing calligraphy. Image by 360

A khateeb (scribe) sitting at a table and doing calligraphy. Image by 360

An ornate wooden door with beautifully carved surrounding walls which have colourful Islamic tiles at the lower half at Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

An ornate wooden door with beautifully carved surrounding walls which have colourful Islamic tiles at the lower half at Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

A central courtyard (riad) at Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

A central courtyard (riad) at Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

A square pool with water in the central courtyard (riad) at Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory

A square pool with water in the central courtyard (riad) at Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory

A gorgeously carved wooden wall with door at Ben Youssef Madrasa, Narrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

A gorgeously carved wooden wall with door at Ben Youssef Madrasa, Narrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

A rectangular stone water receptable or Ablution Basin inside an ornately carved room at Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

Ablution Basin at Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakesh. It was brought back from Andalusia by Almoravid Sovereign Youssef Ben Tachfine. Image by 360onhistory.com

Ceiling of Ben Youssef Madrasah with chandelier. Image by 360onhistory.com

Ceiling of Ben Youssef Madrasah with chandelier. Image by 360onhistory.com

A central courtyard (riad) at Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

A central courtyard (riad) at Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

An ornate wooden door with beautifully carved surrounding walls which have colourful Islamic tiles at the lower half at Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

An ornate wooden door with beautifully carved surrounding walls which have colourful Islamic tiles at the lower half at Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

Ornately carved wooden wall with a window. Image by 360onhistory

Ornately carved wooden wall with a window. Image by 360onhistory

A gorgeously carved wooden wall with door at Ben Youssef Madrasa, Narrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

A gorgeously carved wooden wall with door at Ben Youssef Madrasa, Narrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

A carved wooded door and alcove with carvings at the top section and coloured mosaic at the lower third. Image by 360onhistory.com

A carved wooded door and alcove with carvings at the top section and coloured mosaic at the lower third. Image by 360onhistory.com

Door at Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

Door at Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

Wooden balcony at first floor of Ben Youssef Madrasa. Image by 360onhistory.com

Wooden balcony at first floor of Ben Youssef Madrasa. Image by 360onhistory.com

Wooden balcony at first floor of Ben Youssef Madrasa. Image by 360onhistory.com

Wooden balcony and doors at first floor of Ben Youssef Madrasa. Image by 360onhistory.com

View of the central courtyard (riad) from a first floor window of Ben Youssef Madrasa. Image by 360onhistory.com

View of the central courtyard (riad) from a first floor window of Ben Youssef Madrasa. Image by 360onhistory.com

 

4. Souks and Medina: Shopping Extravaganza No visit to Marrakesh is complete without a foray into its bustling souks and medina. Lose yourself in the narrow alleys filled with aromatic spices, intricately woven textiles, and handcrafted ceramics. From the vibrant hues of the dyers’ souk to the aromatic scents of the spice market, each corner offers a sensory journey through Morocco’s rich artisanal heritage

A stall selling colourful Moroccan plates and dishes in a souk in Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

A stall selling colourful Moroccan plates and dishes in a souk in Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

A small side street, one of many in Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

A small side street, one of many in Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

A stall selling Moroccan leather bags and shoes in a souk in Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

A stall selling Moroccan leather bags and shoes in a souk in Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

A small side street, through an archway, one of many in Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

A small side street, through an archway, one of many in Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

A small side street, one of many in Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

A small side street, one of many in Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

A small side street, one of many in Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

A small side street, one of many in Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

A small side street, one of many in Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

A small side street, one of many in Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

A small side street, one of many in Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

A small side street, one of many in Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

 

5. The Saadian Tombs: Hidden Treasures Tucked away in the heart of the Kasbah, the Saadian Tombs are a historical marvel discovered in 1917. Dating back to the 16th century, these tombs house the remains of members of the Saadian dynasty. Intricately decorated with stunning tilework and carvings, the tombs provide a fascinating glimpse into Morocco’s royal past.

Graves inside Saadian Tombs, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

Graves inside Saadian Tombs, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

Graves inside Saadian Tombs, Marrakesh. This chamber is known as the room of 12 pillars. Image by 360onhistory.com

Graves inside Saadian Tombs, Marrakesh. This chamber is known as the room of 12 pillars. Image by 360onhistory.com

Graves inside Saadian Tombs, Marrakesh. This is the room of three niches. Image by 360onhistory.com

Graves inside Saadian Tombs, Marrakesh. This is the room of three niches. Image by 360onhistory.com

 

6. Bahia Palace: This glorious palace is a mid to late 19th-century palace in Marrakesh. It is a mid to late 19th-century palace first begun by Si Musa, grand vizier of Alaouite sultan Muhammad ibn Abd al-Rahman, in 1859 and then continued and expanded by his son Si Ba Ahmed ibn Musa, grand vizier of Sultan Moulay Abdelaziz between 1894 and 1900. Today, it is a well-known historic monument and tourist attraction in the city. Si Musa was descended from a family of black slaves, which served the Moroccan royal government and reached the highest offices in the country. He was first hajib (similar to a chamberlain) then grand vizier under Muhammad ibn Abd al-Rahman, who reigned from 1859 to 1873.

A corridor with circular columns that goes around the central courtyard of Bahia Palace, Marrakesh. Iamge by 360onhistory.com

A corridor with circular columns that goes around the central courtyard of Bahia Palace, Marrakesh. Iamge by 360onhistory.com

The central courtyard (riad) at Bahia Palace, Marrakesh, with people milling around. Image by 360onhistory.com

The central courtyard (riad) at Bahia Palace, Marrakesh, with people milling around. Image by 360onhistory.com

A smaller courtyard at Bahia Palace, Marrakesh, with people milling around. Image by 360onhistory.com

A smaller courtyard at Bahia Palace, with people milling around. Image by 360onhistory.com

A giant fireplace at Bahia Palace with colourful tiles and mosaic around it. Image by 360onhistory.com

A giant fireplace at Bahia Palace with colourful tiles and mosaic around it. Image by 360onhistory.com

A scribe sits on the floor in front of a doorway at Bahia Palace, Marrakesh. He has books and papers in front of him. Image by 360onhistory.com

A scribe sits on the floor in front of a doorway at Bahia Palace, Marrakesh. He has books and papers in front of him. Image by 360onhistory.com

A beautifully designed and colourful ceiling at Bahia Palace, Marrakesh. A fine example of Islamic decor. Image by 360onhistory.com

A beautifully designed and colourful ceiling at Bahia Palace, Marrakesh. A fine example of Islamic decor. Image by 360onhistory.com

A corridor at Bahia Palace, Marrakesh. The floor is colourfully tiled. Image by 360onhistory.com

A corridor at Bahia Palace, Marrakesh. The floor is colourfully tiled. Image by 360onhistory.com

A beautifully designed and colourful ceiling at Bahia Palace, Marrakesh. A fine example of Islamic decor. Image by 360onhistory.com

A beautifully designed and colourful ceiling at Bahia Palace, Marrakesh. A fine example of Islamic decor. Image by 360onhistory.com

Giant wooden carved doors at Bahia Palace, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.

Giant wooden carved doors at Bahia Palace, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.

Giant wooden carved doors at Bahia Palace, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.

Giant wooden carved doors at Bahia Palace, Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.

Courtyard of Bahia Palace. Image by 360onhistory showing people walking around the plant beds that have trees.

Courtyard of Bahia Palace. Image by 360onhistory

 

Cultural Aspects and the Atlas Mountains: A Tapestry of Traditions Marrakesh is a melting pot of cultures, blending Arab, Berber, and French influences. The city’s architecture, cuisine, and traditions reflect this rich tapestry, creating a unique and immersive experience for visitors. Whether sipping mint tea in a traditional riad or witnessing a mesmerizing display of belly dancing, Marrakesh invites you to embrace its diverse cultural heritage.

Finally, the Atlas Mountaibs are breathtaking and full of biodiversity.

Traditional water seller or "Gharrib," in Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh. He is wearing bright red clothes and hat and has brass water utensils hung around him. Image by 360onhistory.com

Traditional water seller or “Gharrib,” in Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh. He is wearing bright red clothes and hat and has brass water utensils hung around him. Image by 360onhistory.com

Women pressing argan seeds to extract argan oil. Ourika Valley, near Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

Women pressing argan seeds to extract argan oil. Ourika Valley, near Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

A view of Atlas Mountains in Ourika Valley, near Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

A view of Atlas Mountains in Ourika Valley, near Marrakesh. Image by 360onhistory.com

Dyed cactus flowers from prickly pear cacti, in many colours on the street of Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh. These are used as infusion in tea. Image by 360onhistory.com

Dyed cactus flowers from prickly pear cacti, in many colours on the street of Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakesh. These are used as infusion in tea. Image by 360onhistory.com

 

Marrakesh certainly is a city that captivates the senses, offering a kaleidoscope of colors, flavors, and traditions. With its historic landmarks, vibrant markets, and welcoming atmosphere, Marrakesh stands as a testament to Morocco’s enduring allure. Explore its winding streets, engage with its warm-hearted locals, and let Marrakesh weave its enchanting spell on you.

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I am a Chartered Environmentalist from the Royal Society for the Environment, UK and co-owner of DoLocal Digital Marketing Agency Ltd, with a Master of Environmental Management from Yale University, an MBA in Finance, and a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Mathematics. I am passionate about science, history and environment and love to create content on these topics.

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