Historical Monuments You Must Visit in Marrakech
Marrakech (also known as the Red City) is one of the most famous cities in North Africa and it’s considered to be a major tourist attraction. One of the things that contributed to its popularity and fame and made it stand out among other cities is its rich history that is tangibly conspicuous in its historical monuments. Marrakech that literally means the Land of God in the Amazigh language was established in 1062 by Yusuf Ibn Tashfin, sovereign of the Almoravid Empire. This imperial city is replete with grand and marvelous historical monuments that demonstrate interesting aspects of the Moroccan art of urbanism. Here are six historical monuments you must go see in Marrakech:
Bahia Palace was founded in the 1860s by Si Musa, vizier of Sultan Hasan 1. It is situated in the North of Al-Mallah district. This historical monument covers a surface of 8000 square meters. However, tourists and visitors are only allowed to a limited part of the palace. It was first built in the form of a spacious courtyard mansion (a Riad) in the Andalusian style. As it was one of the most luxurious places of its time, further improvements and embellishments had laid the final touches to make it the mesmerizing place it is today. This palace houses Andalusian-Moorish gardens and fountains, room galleries, a mosque, a steam room, Islamic gardens, and patios. It is a beautiful depiction of a momentous and grotesque architecture and it represents a cherished cultural heritage by Moroccans.
Opening Hours: every day from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m
Entry Price: 70 MAD
Not very far from Bahia Palace, you can come across Badii Palace that is a long-lasting manifestation of a great victory earned by Ahmad El-Mansur Addahabi, Sultan of the Saadian, in the battle of The Three Kings. Badii Palace (“The Incomparable (or Inimitable) Palace” alternatively) has been built in the period between 1578 and 1594 in the northeast corner of the Casbah. Unfortunately, only ruins are left, revealing the magnificence of this palace as it had been decayed back then by order from the Alaouite Sultan Moulay Ismail . This architectural complex contains a large courtyard surrounded by two identical pavilions, small gardens, and a couple more structures that comprise two open galleries. It is considered to be a gem of Islamic art. Badii palace, as well as Bahia palace, tend to host certain cultural events, namely: the festival of “Marrakech du Rire”.
Opening Hours: Every day from 9 am to 5 pm
Entry Price: 70 MAD
Koutoubia Mosque is located in the southwest of the medina near Jamaa Lafna square. It is a religious building that has a height of 77 meters making it the biggest mosque in Marrakech. It is also a major landscape in the latter as it is the tallest building in the city and an important factor in the city’s skyline. Koutoubia Mosque was first established during the Almoravid dynasty 1120 and completed during the reign of the Berber Almohad Caliph Yaqub al-Mansour (1184-1199). This mosque is well-built with bricks, sandstone, and ceramic tiles. It comprises: a house of prayer that contains 17 halls supported by huge solid pillars, a beautiful tribune, the nave of the mosque, a minaret with an arrow and orbs, and finally a large square with gardens on the outside. The entry to the mosque is exclusive to Muslims to pray, but you can still enjoy a great deal of the monument from the outside, especially during the sunset and sunrise and at night when it’s especially and delicately lit.
Menara is a vast botanical garden that is situated in the Menara district, relatively close to the Jamaa Lafna Square. The foundation of this historical monument traces back to the 12th century during the reign of the Almohad dynasty and under the request of king Abdelmoumen Almohad, serving as a training field for soldiers. It is mainly constituted of an enormous green space planted with olive trees all around which makes it perfect for picnics and long walks. It is well-known for its pavilion with a green pyramid-shaped dome, in front of which lays a basin filled with artificial water. Menara Gardens are considered as a major destination for both locals and tourists.
Opening Hours: 08:00 am to 05:00 pm (too hectic on Sundays)
Entry Price: free
Almoravids Dome ( Almoradiv Cupola/ Qubba)
Almoravid Dome takes its name after the Almoravid dynasty. It is situated next to the Marrakech Museum on the southern side of Ibn Yusuf Mosque in the old city. This monument was founded by Ali Ibn Yusuf earlier in the 12th century. The dome caps a rectangular structure that houses a water basin. The outer façade is exquisitely covered with beautiful inscriptions with different shapes and arches. The inside of the building is well-adorned with carved floral patterns and calligraphy. This historical monument is of a great significance as it is the only remaining architectural heritage by Almoravids.
Opening Hours: every day from 9 am to 6 pm
Entry Price: 60 MAD
This historical monument was built late in the 16th century during the reign of Ahmad El-Mansour. It is located in the Casbah district. It comprises the tombs of most of the Saadiin Sultans and their family members. Saadian tombs’ structure and architecture took after the Moroccan-Andalusian sample in their art of urbanism. The pottery motifs, the dazzling Zellij, and the graceful carvings on wood were what made this historical monument a great attraction to visitors. This monument is laid on two sides. The first one contains three rooms: a mosque, the twelve pillars room in the center, and the wood ceilings room that contains inscriptions engraving the memory of Sultan Abd El-Ghaleb and his father. The second is known by Lalla Masouuda Dome and it makes the center of this complex.