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Marrakech

Beyond being breathtaking, Marrakech encompasses a tradition of hospitality and fascinating history that you can feel all around you. Considered the “jet-setters playground,” Marrakech serves as a second home to many artists, athletes and businesspeople. Those who crave luxury and beauty flock to Marrakech for relaxation and a truly magical experience.

Map of Villas in Marrakech

Introducing

An Unparalleled Place

Marrakech was founded in 1062 by the Almoravids who are remembered for bringing water to the city by harnessing spring water through an innovative system of wells and piping network. From this system magnificent gardens and orchards have been able to thrive throughout the city. Since its founding, five dynasties have come and gone and each has helped to shape the unique culture of Marrakech today.

A Cultural Capital with a Strong History

Marrakech is a cultural capital of the world and an inspiration to artists, fashion designers and visitors. It’s full of lively festivals, unbeatable nightlife and luxury at every corner. Marrakech has been a tourist capital for over 100 years, remaining a popular destination because of its rare blend of preserved heritage and vibrant living cultures throughout.

History and Culture

The Red City

The city was first inhabited by Berber farmers and was founded in 1062 by Abu Bakr ibn Umar. In the 12th century, Abu and his people, the Almoravids, built a series of madrasas (Koranic schools) and mosques throughout Marrakech.

From 1122-1123 Ali ibn Usuf constructed red walls in the city and many of the buildings were also made from red sandstone. Today the city still holds the name “The Red City.”

 

Growing Popularity of the City

These wealthy Saadian sultans decorated the city with extravagant palaces and restored many ruined monuments. At the start of the 17th century, the city became popular among Sufi pilgrims and the city continued to grow. In 1912 the French Protectorate in Morroco was established and the virtual rule of the first Pasha of Marrakech started. His name was T’hami El Glaoui and he maintained this position of power throughout the duration of the protectorate until Morocco became independent and his role was no longer needed. After gaining its independence, Morocco became a monarchy in 1956 and a landmark event was in 2009 when Fatima Zahra Mansouri became the second women to be elected as mayor of Marrakech.

 

Modern Marrakech

Today, Marrakech is similar to many Moroccan cities in that it’s considered an old fortified city and features a proliferation of vendors and their stands bordering modern neighborhoods. The most recognized neighborhood is Gueliz. It is also one of the busiest cities in Africa and the center of its economy and tourism. Real estate and hotel development continue to grow. Marrakech also has several universities and schools and is the headquarters for a number of popular Moroccan football clubs.

Things to do

International Marathon of Marrakech

Every January for the past 25 years, Marrakech has held one of the most elite marathons in the world. Each year some of the fastest times in the world are produced and the mild climate is perfect for this strenuous run. Luckily the route is extremely scenic- palm trees, olives trees and a city setting are all around you. If you’re not a runner you can still enjoy cheering from the crowd!

 

Marrakech International Film Festival

This film festival has been held annually for the past 13 years and began with the renewal of the Moroccan cinema. It is one of the most star-studded film festivals and brings celebrities together to celebrate cinema and enjoy the peaceful escape of Marrakech away from all the paparazzi in Hollywood.

 

Golfing

The Atlas Mountains serve as the perfect backdrop to any of the four greens that you choose to golf on. The Marrakech Royal Golf Club (27 holes) was built in 1923 and is the oldest course in Morocco. Many iconic figures have golfed this course, including Winston Churchill, Lloyd George and President Eisenhower. For a different terrain check out the Samanah Golf Club (18 holes) which is considered a “desert course” because cacti, palm trees olive trees and other plant life are all interspersed throughout it.

 

Montreux Jazz Festival

You’ll find smooth jazz playing from every corner of Marrakech during this renowned jazz festival. La Ménara and the Bahia Palace are its main venues, two of the most incredible places in Marrakech. Some of the biggest names in music have made appearances at this festival, including Ella Fitzgerald, B.B. King and Herbie Hancock.

 

Places to see

The Majorelle Gardens

These gardens are home to a collection of plants from the four corners of the earth. They live among picturesque lakes and an Art Deco Villa. Besides being beautifully scenic, these gardens are well known because Yves Saint Laurent’s ashes were scattered there.

Menara

The Menara is a symbolic place of Marrakech. The sophisticated building is built with green tiles and surrounded by one of the most massive and scenic lakes. It’s a favorite spot for Marrakech locals to relax and cool off during a heat wave.

 

Medersa

Built by the Saadians, The Ben Youssef Medersa is considered a jewel of Morrocan architecture and culture. This Koranic university is made of marble, stuccowork, mosaics and carved cedarwood. It is one of the only buildings left of the Almoravids architecture.

 

Koutoubia

The old city walls of Koutoubia are known for holding the city’s “unmissable” sights. It is considered one of Marrakech’s most beautiful monuments, with a simple design and highly sophisticated decoration of perfect proportions. At night it becomes the city’s “spiritual lighthouse” because its 77-meter Minaret can be seen from 25 kilometers away. This iconic monument was used as a model in the creation of two sister mosques, the Giralda in Seville and the Hassan Tower in Rabat.

 

Markets (Souks)

There is no better way to understand authentic Marrakchi craftsmanship than to walk through the famous souks. With a lively atmosphere and amazing diversity, the Marrakech souks are considered the finest in all of Morocco. Although overwhelming at first, you will quickly understand they are organized by corporation. There is souk Cherratine for fine leather goods, Zrabi for carpets, Fekharine for pottery, Seffarine for copperware and so on. The souks combine modern craftmanship with traditional work for one-of-a kind high quality products.

40 Villas in Marrakech