Marrakesh, a former imperial city in western Morocco, is a major economic center and home to mosques, palaces and gardens. The medina is a densely packed, walled medieval city dating to the Berber Empire, with mazelike alleys where thriving souks (marketplaces) sell traditional textiles, pottery and jewelry. A symbol of the city, and visible for miles, is the Moorish minaret of 12th-century Koutoubia Mosque. Via WikiPedia
Koutoubia Mosque is the largest mosque in Marrakech, Morocco. The mosque is also known by several other names, such as Jami ‘al-Kutubiyah, the Kotoubia Mosque, the Kutubiya Mosque, the Kutubiyyin Mosque and the Booksellers’ Mosque. It is located in the district of the south-west medina of Marrakech. The mosque is decorated with curved windows, a strip of ceramic, pointed merlons and decorative arches; it has a large square with gardens, and is lit at night. The minaret, 77 meters (253 feet) high, includes an arrow and orbs. It was completed under the reign of the Berber Almohad caliph Yaqub al-Mansour (1184-1199), and inspired other buildings such as the Giralda of Seville and the Hassan Tower of Rabat.
Staying in a riad in the old medina of Marrakech is a unique experience, but it is not for everyone. The term ‘riad’ means garden but it is applied to town houses built round a central courtyard. Technically it should have some plants in four planting beds and a central fountain. Otherwise it is called a Dar, or house.
They are generally owned by individuals, sometimes the owner is the manager and sometimes there is a manager who can be a local Moroccan, or European/foreign. There can be good owners and bad, likewise quality of managers can vary. There is no hard and fast rule.
Generally the more you pay, the better the quality/location of the riad. Perceived wisdom is that 10minutes walk from Jeeema el Fna is the maximum, so often guest houses will advertise they are 10 mins walk when they are not. And of course ’10mins walk’ doesn’t guarantee qualityof accommodation or service. Also there is more likelihood of being located in a very touristy area if you are ’10mins walk’ and the experience is going to be less authentic morocco.
By the nature of their construction riads are very intimate spaces and can be difficlut o adjust to. Noise is accentuated by the courtyard layout.
These tombs were created to stand as the final resting place for the many rulers and members of the Saadi dynasty. Rich in history, the Saadian tombs were rediscovered in 1917 after being sealed for centuries. Magnificently decorated with bright tiles, Arabic calligraphy, and intricate carvings, Saadian Sultan Ahmed al-Mansour Eddahbi certainly spared no expense on his tomb, making for a beautiful site for tourists. Located just outside of Marrakech, the tombs are easy to reach, and a fantastic alternative to the bustling city. Carefully restored and well preserved, they now stand as one of the most popular things to see in Morocco.