Sights in Marrakesh

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THE TANNERY

THE TANNERY

KATHERINE BOUCHER

Djemaa el Fna square, Now on UNESCO’s World Heritage list, the square hums and pulsates with mystery, magic, and possibility. By day, one feasts eyes and more on succulent dates, the freshest orange juice, alchemists, acrobats, plier-wielding “dentists.” At sunset, the carnival atmosphere comes alive, with food vendors setting up scrumptious specialties, while dancers, fortune-tellers, musicians, and snake charmers and take over the rest of the space.

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Badii Palace and minbar

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This was once known as 'the incomparable palace' and, although it is now a ruin, it certainly was something very special. It now seems to have a role as the stork centre for Marrakesh as a number were to be seen on the walls in November - and none anywhere else!

One feature that adds a whole 10  dirhams [less than €1!] to the cost is the 12th century minbar from the Koutoubia mosque. Its a sort of pulpit staircase with fabulous decorations in rare woods and ivory.

There is far more walking involved in seeing the whole palace than you would initially think

type:Palaces
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Medersa Ben Youssef

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Some fine ornamentation here
Some fine ornamentation here
photo by: davidx

North from the Jma-l-Fna, a good walk through the souqs, is the Medersa Ben Youssef. It's not easy to miss, because it's the biggest building in the neighborhood. It is the best example of Merinid architecture in Marrakesh.

type:Landmarks
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Yves St. Laurent Garden

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Majorelle Gardens are a must. This beautifully layed out garden was designed by The Yves St. Laurent himself. It is decorated with brighrt colors and VERY blue pots and vases.
However by Marrakech standards it's expensive - 30 dirhams entrance and that doesn't include enty to the Museum of islamic art. Of course if the owner needs this to ward off destitution - - -

type:Parks, Gardens and Zoos
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address:Yacoub El Mansour

Bahia Palace

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This was the mansion of Si Ahmed ben Moussa, the vizier of Moulay Hassan. It was built as late as 1894. After his death in 1900 the palace was sacked. You can get guided tours to the palace.

The guided tour is not really worthwhile. The guides tend to talk to long about things which aren't really interesting.

However, if you only have time for one major building to look at cedarwood and stame tracery and mosaics, you might as well some here. Some of the sculpture and ornamentation is simply excellent. And it only costs 10 dirhams - slightly less more..

type:Landmarks
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Jma-l-Fna

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The Jma el Fna is where it all happens: snake charmers, acrobats, story tellers, small restaurants, fresh orange juice. It changes during the day, from a juice and nut selling area with additional entertainment in the morning to a more tourist oriented "side show" in the afternoon. It then becomes full of food stalls and entertainment for the evening and night.

Jma-l-Fna is great for a morning orange juice, an afternoon stroll or a dinner at night. It's a genuine 5* attraction at night & it's not done especially for tourists, most of it is 100% for Moroccans, by more..

type:Squares
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Saadian Tombs

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A unique example of Moroccan Saadian architecture. Very elaborately decorated rooms harbour tombs of saadian Sultans. There is a small passage way, in order to get in without setting foot inside of the Mosque. The gardens are lovely and the way the tombs are carved very beautifully.

type:Graves and Cemeteries
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casbah

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casbah

 

type:Palaces
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The tanneries

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THE TANNERY
THE TANNERY
photo by: KATHERINE BOUCHER

I don't recommend this for everyone & I'm not sure I'd especially want to go there again for some time, if ever. But, for an experience of a life so different from our own & to assail your jaded traveller's senses with sights & smells of an intensity (mostly the smells!)which you won't forget in a hurry, just go!

Avoid being shaken down for lots of money by the "guides" & do not enter the kilim & handicraft showrooms unless you can be very assertive or you really do want something. I bought a kilim (well, two actually...it seemed like a good deal at the more..

type:Hotspots
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address:Bab Debbagh, a gate in the East side of the city wall
openinghours:All day, give or take

Criee Berbere

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A small square just north of the Jma-l-Fna. Has lots of shops where they sell the stuff magig is done with. dead lizards and the likes. You can also find carpets here, they are sold in a small auction here at the end of the afternoon. It is not a cheap place to get your carpets. In earlier days slaves were sold in a quite identical manner.

type:Squares
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