Situated at the foot of the Atlas Mountains is Marakesh the cultural centre of Morocco. Some people view the city as overcrowded and polluted, but there is much more to it than that. Part of Marakesh’s appeal are the crowds and the frantic pace which are best represented in Djemme el Fna, the city’s main square, or in its marketplaces. There is tranquility to be found here though as a trip to Majorelle gardens will show. A few interesting things to do in Marakesh include.
Djemma el Fna
Djemma el Fna is the heart of Marrakesh and its central square. Always full of varied activities by late afternoon the square becomes an entertainer’s mecca with snake charmers, musicians of all varieties, and juggling going on. Surrounding the historic square is a bevy of lovely cafes so travelers can take a seat and watch the action transpiring in the square.
Sougs are canopied marketplaces that sell all varieties of different items and goods. Marakesh is seen to have some of the best Sougs in Morocco. For shoppers and non shoppers a like Sougs offer a cultural experience. The market place is divided into different sections with a section for butchers, jewelers, spice merchants, tailors, etc…
Back in the 1920’s French artists Jacque and Louis Majorelle created a stunning garden in the middle of Marakesh. Filled with colour, flowers, fish ponds, and plants of all shapes and sizes the Majorelle Gardens offers a peaceful tranquility in this otherwise hectic city. The building within the gardens that is most renowned is the bright blue and yellow former workshop of the Majorelles which has been converted into a Museum of Islamic Art.
In the 16th and 17th century Southern Morocco was ruled by the Saadian dynasty. In the late 16th century Sultan Ahmed al-Mansour built these tombs for himself and his family to be buried inside of. Having been sealed, and virtually “lost”, for centuries the tombs were only re-discovered in 1917. Beautifully preserved the Saadian Tombs contain intricate mosaics and fantastic decoration. The tombs are open daily, except Tuesdays, to view.
Museum of Moroccan Arts (Palais Dar si Said)
A palace and museum all in one the Museum of Moroccan Arts is well worth a look. Palais Dar Si Said is a classic and opulent palace with a fantastic courtyard that also contains a great array of Moroccan artifacts. Some of the items that visitors can see include Moroccan jewellery, ceramics, daggers, and costumes.