According to abbreviationfinder, Marrakech is the fifth largest city of Morocco, in the plain Haouz at the northern foot of the Atlas Mountains, 465 m above sea level (2019) 962,000 residents.
Marrakech lies in a 135 km 2 large former date palm oasis, is the trading center of an agricultural catchment area far into the High Atlas and one of the royal cities (“royal cities”) of the Moroccan sultans, in which the current king also temporarily resides; Administrative seat of the prefecture of the same name and the Marrakech-Safi region; University (founded 1978); Fruit and vegetable canning industry, dairy farm, oil mill, cement factory, manufacture of carpets and saffiano leather work, dye works, diverse handicrafts, large bazaars. After Agadir the most important center of tourism, congress city and Berber metropolis in the south; Railway terminus, international airport.
Marrakech is divided into the traditional walled medina (old town) with the Djemaa el-Fna square, to which the respective walled complexes Kasba, Dar el-Makhzen (royal palace), Mechouar (reception courtyards) and Agdal (sultan’s gardens) adjoin, spatially separated from it the colonial European city (»Gueliz«) and the outer zone with modern residential, industrial and commercial districts. The medina is surrounded by a 12 km long rammed earth wall (up to 9 m high) with cantilevered towers, 9 km of which were built in 1126/27. The 17-aisled Kutubija Mosque, one of the largest in Western Islam, completed around 1158, is considered a masterpiece of Moorish architecture: Mihrab with a splendid framework (Alfiz); monumental minbar (made in Cordoba at the beginning of the 13th century) with ivory and precious wood carvings. The square house minaret (before 1158–96) with a ready-to-use ramp around six magnificent interiors, one on top of the other, has rich architectural decor and is a model for the minarets of Rabat and Seville. In the spacious three-part Almohad Kasba (1185–90) are the Royal Palace and the Kasba Mosque (renovated after 1569) with an 80 m long crenellated facade. The Ben Jusuf Medrese, founded by the Merinids in the middle of the 14th century, was expanded to become the largest in the Maghreb in 1564/65 (rich stucco, marble and precious wood decor, marble cleaning basin from Córdoba). The Sadite mausoleums (expanded 1578–1603, restored since 1917) are masterpieces of Moorish interior decor (stalactite domes, lambrequin and mukarnas arches, bulbous marble columns, stucco arabesques, painted gilded cedar ceilings). Many residential palaces in the Moorish-Andalusian style with interior gardens, including Dar Si Said (late 19th century), today the Museum of Moroccan Art, and the luxury hotel Mamounia (built in 1922/23, renovated and expanded in 1978 and 1986). The most beautiful examples of Maghrebian horticulture are the Agdal Royal Gardens (3.5 km × 1.5 km), Inan Roudan and the Menara Gardens, which were laid out by the Almohads. Of the numerous monumental gates, the Almohad decorative gates Bab Agnaou (between 1185 and 1190) and Bab er-Robb (between 1184 and 1199) are particularly richly designed. The always busy Djemaa el-Fna square, about 200 m × 200 m, serves among other things. as a marketplace. UNESCO declared the old town of Marrakech a World Heritage Site. and the luxury hotel Mamounia (built in 1922/23, renovated and expanded in 1978 and 1986). The most beautiful examples of Maghrebian horticulture are the Agdal Royal Gardens (3.5 km × 1.5 km), Inan Roudan and the Menara Gardens, which were laid out by the Almohads. Of the numerous monumental gates, the Almohad decorative gates Bab Agnaou (between 1185 and 1190) and Bab er-Robb (between 1184 and 1199) are particularly richly designed. The always busy Djemaa el-Fna square, about 200 m × 200 m, serves among other things. as a marketplace. UNESCO declared the old town of Marrakech a World Heritage Site.
Marrakech (older form Marrukuš, from Portuguese Marocos, Spanish Marruecos the state name Morocco) was founded according to traditional tradition in 1062, in fact probably not until 1070 as the capital of the emerging empire of the Almoravids.
The Moroccan royal cities of Fez and Marrakech
There are four so-called royal cities in Morocco. They are (in part former) residential cities of Moroccan ruling families.
The oldest and most respected of these cities is Fez, which was founded in the 9th century on the edge of the Sebou basin and was chosen by the Idrisids as their capital. To this day, the city is the spiritual and religious center of Morocco. The Karawijin Mosque, which can accommodate over 22,000 worshipers, is impressive, making it one of the largest mosques in Morocco. After the fall of the Idrisids, Fès was conquered by the Almoravids in 1067. Although the city lost its capital function to Marrakech, it was further expanded by the new rulers. In the 18th century the Hasanids (also called Alawiden) moved their residence back to Fez; the city retained this function until 1912.
Marrakech, founded around 1070 in the fertile Haouz plain, was made their new capital by the Almoravids. It is considered to be the most beautiful city in Morocco. After its destruction in the fighting between Almoravids and Almohads in 1146, the new Almohad rulers, above all Abd al-Moomin and Jakub al-Mansur, rebuilt the city and furnished it splendidly. When the Merinids drove out the Almohads in 1269, the city lost its importance, and it was only the Sadians who built new splendid buildings. Especially under Sultan Ahmed al-Mansur, the city experienced a new heyday in the second half of the 16th century. The magnificent tombs of the Sadier dynasty are located in a necropolis near the Kasba Mosque, which is famous for its interior decoration. The necropolis remained undamaged, because the Hasanid sultan Mulai Ismail had them walled up in the second half of the 17th century. It was only reopened in 1917 by French researchers.