We all have idealized places in our mind: an idylic beach, a western tourist town, a high mountain village ... stereotypes that define what we expect from these places and determine us when we visit them. But there are amazing places hardly comparable to anything known in our minds, one of these sites is Marrakech.
Marrakech is one of the most important cities in Morocco, North Africa. An inland city situated amongst orange groves that stands out for the reddish colour of its buildings, not in vain it is often called "The Red City". It is also one of the most populated cities in Morocco, with a million and a half inhabitants, and along with Fes, Rabat and Meknes it is one of the four imperial cities in the nation.
Founded in 1062 by the Almoravids as a strategic city in the control of the region, it became the capital of the Islamic empire for several centuries. To know about this glorious past will help us to understand better what we can find in the city if we decide to visit it: monuments to a magnificent past, palaces, mosques and parks that will not leave us indifferent. In this case, as we said at the beginning, any stereotypes will be shot down as we head into the streets and realize that Marrakech is a place to dream.
As usually, we would not want to write this post without proposing a number of places we must definitely visit. In total we have included four of them, but the list could be much longer:
1 Jamaa el Fna: it is the very heart of the city, a huge terrace flanked by buildings where almost all public events of the city take place and an ideal place to stroll in the evening or early in the morning (at midday on summer is not recommended). Their orange juice stands or mobile stalls are an almost permanent feature in the square, as well as artists of various kinds, accompanied by monkeys, snakes and flutes.
2 The medina: it is the old part of the town, declared World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1985. Simply walking the streets and mingle with the people are worth it. But if we want to take the pulse of the activity of its population the best thing is to enter their souk, straight from the Jamaa el Fna square, a maze of streets full of merchants in which to buy almost anything. The best place to get a souvenir.
3 La Menara: a growing area outside the walls where we find one of the most famous postcards of the city: an immense pond adorned with a green-tiled mansion reflected in its waters.
4. Dar Si Said Museum: a museum from which to experience the illustrious history of the nation, from its clothes to its most famous sculptures and paintings, it is a visit that will help us appreciate even more the creative character of the Moroccans. But the building itself will also catch our attention, a huge palace built in the nineteenth century, a typical example of Moorish architecture.
Do not doubt it for a moment, a trip to Marrakech is well worth it.