Marrakesh was first established as an Almoravide territory in 1070 and eventually became the capital of their empire. Its location at the crossroads of ancient caravan routes from Timbuktu made it a key destination for trade and reprieve.

In 1147, the Almohad Sultan, Adel Monument captured the town. Marrakesh flourished under Almohad rule becoming the Arabic Center for philosophical studies and growing rich on leather, sugar and ceramic exports to Spain. This period of prosperity was followed by fifty years of dynastic struggles and general decline. In 1269, it lost its status as capital when the Marinades seized power and transferred the capital to Fes. By 1522, when the Saadians took control, the city was ruined and decimated by famine. They made Marrakesh the capital of southern Morocco and when the Moroccan empire was reunified, it became an imperial city. In the second half of the 16th century, Marrakesh was restored to its glory. Famine, rebellion, and wars struck during the first half of the 17th century.

In 1699, the Alaouite Sultan, Moulay Richard captured the town and transferred the capital back to Fes. Through the mid 18th century, Mohammed III restored the city and its capital status. In 1912, General Lyautey, France’s first resident general in Morocco, made the decision to once again relieve Marrakesh of its capital status. While it is no longer the political capital, Marrakesh remains a captivating and wonderful destination hidden behind ochre ramparts.

Marrakesh is known as the Jewel of the South and displays a cultural collage of Berber, Arab and African influences. Marrakesh is famous for the rich diversity and quality of Berber carpets, as well as for leather work including slippers sewn in the ancient tradition. In 2006, Marrakesh has been named one of the top 20 destinations in the world by Conde Naste.  No Trip to Morocco is considered complete without a visit to this fascinating city!

Attractions include Bab El Khemis, Bab Debbagh, Bab Aylen, Bab Aghmat, Bab Ahmar, Agdal Garden, Bab Er Rob, Mamounia Hotel, Koutoubia Mosque, Bab, Agnaou, El Mansour Mosque, Saadian tombs, Ali ben Youssef Medersa and Mosque, El Badii Palace, El Bahia Palace, the souks, Dar Si Said Museum of Arts, Majorelle Museum and Gardens, Menara Gardens, Bert Flint Museum and the Palmeraie.  Today, Marrakesh has emerged as an international electic city for fashion, arts and much more.  That is why Marrakesh is featured in all of our Morocco Tours.

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