Marrakesh is an ancient city that is close to one thousand years old, located in in-land Morocco in the proximity of the Ourika River that runs from the Atlantic coast all the way to the Jebel Yagour mountain range.
Even though Marrakesh has a population of around 1 million as of writing this article, it is one of the most popular tourist and business hubs in the continent of Africa.
In this article, we are going to be telling you about all of the interesting aspects of travel to the city of Marrakesh, Morocco.
Population of Marrakesh.
Marrakesh has an estimated population of 990,000 people making it the fourth most populous city in the country of Morocco.
For many hundreds of years, Marrakesh has been a leading location for settlement by different groups of people including Berbers, multiple Muslim caliphates and later on European colonial empires.
Today, Marrakesh continues to attract a large number of tourists as well as economical migrants from Morocco and abroad who are mainly looking to work in the booming tourism industry in the city which is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Africa thanks to the promotion and subsidies provided by King Mohammed VI of Morocco.
Notable People from Marrakesh.
Many famous figures that are alive today, as well as historical figures, trace their origins to the city of Marrakesh. One of those people is Yusuf Ibn Tashfin who is the founder of the city of Marrakesh in the 11th century following the battle of Zallaqa that was between Muslim forces versus Catholic forces mainly from Iberia.
Juan Goytisolo is another famous figure from Marrakesh. He is a Spanish poet that is seen as being one of the greatest Spanish authors and poets of the 21st century thanks to works such as The Young Assassins, Marks of Identity and Juan the Landless.
History of Marrakesh.
Many different groups of pre-historic people have been living in the area that is now Marrakesh however it wasn’t until 1062 that the city was officially founded by King Yusuf Ibn Tashfin of the Almoravid Empire. The city quickly grew due to its regional importance as a trading post between the Sahara, Maghreb, and Europe through the Iberian Peninsula.
At one point in time, Marrakesh was one of the biggest and most important cities in the Muslim world and it was a major cultural hub that attracted writers, poets, and painters from the Muslim world as well as Christian Europe.
Due to the cities’ importance, the French and Spanish colonial empires fought for centuries for control of the city and its surrounding regions before dividing up Morocco amongst themselves.
The Rich Culture of Marrakesh.
Marrakesh has undoubtedly one of the richest cultures in Africa and the Muslim world, with the city being an attractive hub for artists, painter and writers for many centuries before admittedly losing its appeal following many years of colonial rule.
However over the 20th century Marrakesh has regained its golden touch and has started to again regain its place as a culturally important city in the world.
For example, Marrakesh is home to the Museum of Islamic Art that hosts private collections from prominent French businesspeople and aristocrats of ancient and recent Islamic art pieces including paintings, sculptures, and even architecture.
Furthermore, Marrakesh is the origin of a unique style of colorful crafts that includes clothing, accessories such as handbags as well as jewelry.
Religion in the City of Marrakesh.
Another strong reason to travel to the city of Marrakesh, Morocco is the religious importance that this metropolis holds for over a billion Muslims in the world.
Marrakesh is home to multiple mosques and madrasas that were built during the 12th century during the early founding of the city such as the Kutubiyya Mosque which was built from 1184 to 1199 and to this day remains one of the biggest mosques in the city of Marrakesh.
Furthermore, other popular mosques in the city include the Mouassine Mosque which is a mosque constructed as part of the Mouassine neighborhood and it is part of a large walled-off complex that includes other facilities include a park, a library, and even a primary school.
Attractions in the City of Marrakesh.
The Marrakesh metropolis is covered by landmarks that offer a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit, some examples of very popular landmarks are the Bahia Palace built during the late 19th century with the aim of being the greatest palace in the entire world with ‘Bahia’ meaning ‘brilliance’ in English.
The palace is open to the public to fully explore all of the different rooms of the palace and witness what life would be like living in this city.
Another great location for tourists is the Saadien’s Tombs which is a royal tomb for the Saadian royal dynastic family that ruled areas of modern-day Morocco from 1509 to 1659.
The tombs are a popular tourist attraction due to its extravagant decoration and design that really summarizes well the lavish lives the ruling elite lived during that time.
The Traditional Markets of Marrakesh.
If you are looking for an authentic Moroccan experience then you should visit the many markets in the city of Marrakesh which are known as ‘Souq’.
In such traditional markets you can find every single kind of locally made Moroccan produce from fruits, vegetables, meat, and dairy products as well as souvenirs and artwork which is now one of the major types of goods being sold with entire markets being created to sell goods just to the millions of tourists that visit this amazing city every year.
Going shopping at a traditional Moroccan market like the many you can find in Marrakesh is not your average shopping trip instead it is an entire experience with different scents as well as authentic Moroccan music.
The Popularity of Football in Marrakesh.
Sport is an essential fabric of the interweavings of the culture in Marrakesh with the city being home to multiple professional football teams such as Mouloudia de Marrakech, KAC Marrakech, Najm de Marrakech, and Chez Ali Club de Marrakech. KAC Marrakech also known as Kawkab Marrakech is the most successful out of the four teams, playing in the second tier professional division in Morocco.
Successful footballers that hail from the city of Marrakesh include defender Abdelilah Fahmi who has played in Morocco, France, and Turkey, Abdeljalil Hadda a retired forward who is one of the top goalscorers for the Moroccan football national team and defender Abdelilah Saber who played for iconic teams such as Napoli and Sporting CP throughout his illustrious career.
Importance of Motorsports in Marrakesh.
Apart from Marrakesh being a footballing city, motorsport is another important sport to the occupants of this city which offers a distinct option if you wish to travel to the city of Marrakesh, Morocco.
The city is home to the Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan which is a 3-kilometer circuit that hosts all kinds of motorsports, over the years it has hosted competitions such as the World Touring Car Championship, Formula E and Auto GP.
The venue is one of the gems of the city of Marrakesh and it has remained an extremely popular attraction for locals of the city as well as tourists, it is also very notable for being one of the few racing circuits on the continent of Africa to be able to meet the standards to be a venue of the world’s leading international competitions.
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