Marrakech the Red City, the jewel of the imperial city that attests to an exceptional history marked by many dynasties. It is a cultural city that delights adventurous souls with its unique architecture. Indeed, the Almoravids founded it in the 11th century and set up an ingenious water supply system thanks to a network of canals. This innovation allowed the population to grow and the palm trees to flourish in the city’s famous palm grove.
In the time of the Almoravids, Marrakech was the home of a flourishing cultural and artistic wealth. The Sultans were keen to make this city a cultural center and a strategic place for trade between the Maghreb and Africa. This is why they magnified the city by building many emblematic monuments, such as mosques, Koranic schools, and even a sumptuous fountain for ablutions.
These pharaonic works allowed the city to shine with a thousand lights until the end of the dynasty in the 12th century. The successors found themselves in possession of an architectural treasure of incomparable value. The succession of the Almohads was not easy. They had to eliminate the Almoravids and demolish many buildings. But instead of mourning over these ruins, they seized the opportunity to create something new.
Religious buildings were rebuilt on the ashes of their predecessors, to give Marrakech a new lease on life. The Koutoubia Mosque is a clear symbol of this: built on the site of a palace, it is now one of the most famous buildings in the city. Thanks to their ingenuity, they also transformed the irrigation systems to make the most of the arid land.
After a bloody conflict, the Marinid dynasty took the reins of power, succeeding the powerful Almohad dynasty. This era, unfortunately, marked the decline of the city of Marrakech, once the proud capital of the empire, in favor of the lively Fez. In the 16th century, the Saadides took the kingdom in hand and transformed the city into a sparkling jewel. Wealthy and powerful, they initiated ambitious restoration and beautification projects, which brought the city back to life from the ashes. Nowadays, one can still find the remains of the tombs of this dynasty, silent witnesses of their glorious past reigns.
In the 17th century, the city of Marrakech lost its title of capital to a promising dynasty: the Alaouites. The latter is still in power today in Morocco. For decades, the city agonized, waiting for its savior. And so Moulay Hassan arrived, the great sultan and savior of Marrakech. He made the city his main residence, giving a new impetus to its economy and culture.
The French protectorate briefly took control of the city, building a new modern city. But fortunately, the country’s independence in 1955 allowed Marrakech to once again become the city it was destined to be today,