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Delve Into An Intriguing History With Marrakech Holidays

By Author: Amanda Sutcliffe
Total Articles: 275

Located to the south-west of Rabat, the capital of Morocco, Marrakech is the country's fourth largest city and has been nicknamed as the 'Red City' owing to the red sandstone buildings constructed during the 12th century. It is among the former imperial cities of the nation. Marrakech has been inhabited since the Neolithic times by the Berber farmers, but it was founded as a city by the commander of the Almoravid king, Abu Bakr ibn Umar, in the year 1062. The city grew rapidly after it was founded and became the religious, trading, and cultural hub for the north-west African region. Its public square, Jemaa el-Fnaa is the busiest square in the African region even today.

You can explore this square during your Marrakech holidays while getting around in the city. After the founding of this city by the Berber dynasty of the Almoravids, many mosques and Quranic schools were built in this part of Morocco. While constructing the key structures in the city, the services of Andalusian craftsmen from the Spanish cities of Seville and Cordoba were used. The combination of designs from the Sahara, West Africa, and Andalusia created a unique style of architecture that was ideal for the social and political environment of the city.

The chief of the Almoravid empire in those times was Yusuf ibn Tashfin, who built the Ben Youssef mosque. During your Marrakech holidays, you can explore this majestic mosque in the city's medina quarter. Marrakech became the Almoravid Emirate's capital city during the reign of Yusuf ibn Tashfin, while his son Ali ibn Yusuf fortified it and built the ramparts, mosques, palaces, and underground water system. The Almoravids were defeated in the mid-12th century by the Almohad leader, Abd al-Mumin and the city came under his rule after a series of battles. The Almohads built several palaces and religious buildings, including the Koutoubia Mosque.

While enjoying your holidays to Marrakech, you can visit this mosque and explore all the attractions located nearby. After the death of the Caliph of Morocco in the early 13th century, Yusuf II, the city fell into a state of decline after several upheavals and the overpowering of the Almohads by the Zenata tribes. It lost the status as capital with these events. In the 16th century, the Saadian sultans established their rule over the city. During the rule of the Alaouites, the city was relatively peaceful and Sufism attained its height of popularity, especially during the reign of the dynasty's second ruler, Moulay Ismail.

The early 20th century was a period of great unrest which lasted several years. When a French doctor, Dr Mauchamp, was murdered in the city, France invaded Marrakech and established the French Protectorate in the country. Morocco got its independence in the mid-20th century and Marrakech became a thriving tourist destination. It was a mecca for the hippies in the 1960s and 1970s. During this period, the city also attracted many western musicians, film directors, actors, fashion divas, and models. Today, the city has become a world-renowned travel destination with many new hotels and shopping centres.

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