Stay at the heart of Marrakech’s history in a riad in the medina
Marrakech is a city that evokes holidays and sun but also the unforgettable stay in a riad in Marrakech, a riad in the medina packed with traditional memories and exceptional scents that exhilarate the senses. All this makes Marrakech, this red city emerging from its sumptuous battlements and its green palm grove, a captivating and charming city. All of this can be discovered in its souks, its medina, its square, its festival, and especially in its monuments.
Thus, to rent a riad in Marrakech allows you to be at the centre of the historical discovery and to get elated with the magic of past times.
Founded in 1070 by the Almoravids, who aimed above all at controlling the whole Atlas region, the city enjoyed a dazzling rise through constructions that will remain historic, such as the Koutoubia mosque, to name only the best known. All of this made Marrakech become the capital of a whole empire under the rule of Youssef Ben Tachfine. Indeed, the Koutoubia, whose 230 ft. superb minaret was built by Yacoub El Mansour, remains one of the true masterpieces of the Ochre City. It was once the most important mosque in Morocco and it represented a veritable cultural centre that held the main manuscripts of the period. This minaret with different faces will remain the symbol of the city to date.
Ahmed El Mansour Dahbi also gave the city one of its most beautiful monuments: the Badii Palace. Following his victory against the Portuguese army in 1578 (Battle of Three Kings), Ahmed El Mansour Dahbi undertook the building of this palace, which lasted sixteen years! Today we can only see the ruins after its destruction by the Sultan Moulay Ismail, who took away all its riches to his palace in Meknes. The Badii palace was indeed conceived for the Sultan’s grand receptions and its column’s capitals were covered in gold, its ceilings inlaid with ivory and black and white marble could be found all around.
The Saadi dynasty brought wealth to the city with the Menara, a spacious garden planted with olive trees at the heart of which a great basin is used as a water reservoir to irrigate the crops. Its immense reservoir is fed with water from the Atlas thanks to a hydraulic system dating back more than 700 years that transports the water from the mountains located some 20 miles from Marrakech. The Menara was a leisure space for the Sultans of Marrakech.
The Saadi tombs, resting place of the El Mansour family, were discovered in about 1917 and are a historic site and a true architectural must, with its exceptional mausoleums, its grand rooms, its gardens, etc. The fine work on the cedar-wood ceilings and the marble sepulchres show all the artistic refinement of the times.
Other prestigious places, such as the Dar Si Said museum, the Ben Youssef madrasah, the Bahia palace, the Tiskiwine and the Marrakech museums, the Agdal gardens, etc. contain illustrious vestiges of the history of the Ochre City, which is certainly worth the detour.