Next Expo: Sydney Nov 2017

Morocco, Marrakech - Saadian Tombs

 

 Tucked into the kasbah of Marrakech you’ll find the Saadian Tombs. Typically graveyards aren’t high on my list of things to see when visiting somewhere new, and so it was many years before I actually visited this site. If you go on your own you might think there’s really not much to see here, and you’d be right. I highly recommend visiting with a guide who can give you the background and history of this site.

 

Saadian Tombs in Marrakech

The tombs are next to the Kasbah mosque built by the Almohad dynasty in 1184. It has recently been refurbished (it was originally remodeled in the 17th and 18th century) and is part of a gentrification of the kasbah area. Non-Muslims aren’t able to visit the mosque interior but often times the doors are open and you can peek in. Right of the mosque is the entrance to the tombs.

For two centuries the tombs were neglected and only opened to the public in 1917. The Saadian dynasty lasted from the mid 12th century until the 16th century when the Alaouite dynasty took over. The present king of Morocco is of the Alaouite family. Inside you’ll walk through an enclosed area that opens to an exterior courtyard. There are several alcoves in which the royalty that once ruled the region are buried. These include Ahmed al-Mansour who ruled from 1578-1603. There also is a prayer hall and a large garden.

In one corner you’ll find a man who chisels names onto Moroccan tiles. I know this sounds like something really odd to have in what essentially is a cemetary but our kids thought it was so great to have something with their names in Arabic. Plus, it’s pretty remarkable he can chisel a name onto a tile using a hand chisel! The tombs themselves are not so interesting but if you like architecture and design you’ll appreciate the aesthetic beauty here.

The kasbah is one of my favorite areas of Marrakech, maybe because it was here that I first got to know the city. Pay a visit to these sites but be sure to linger in the area. There are great street food stalls for breakfast in the morning and dinner late at night. Wander the winding streets which are much less crowded than those in the medina. You never know what treasures you might find…like this abandoned house!

1. Full Name, Age, Sex -- Amanda Mouttaki - age 30 - Female

2. Blog / Publishing Title details?  MarocMama (www.marocmama.com)

3. Time spent travelling last year? 
1/3 of the year - mostly through short week long trips but one 6 week chunk of travel.

4. Planned travel in the next 12-24months, When & Where? 
- Catalonia Spain (May 2015)
- Med Cruise (May 2015)
- North America/United States July and August 2015
- Thailand (possible) - October 2015
- Eastern Europe - November 2015
- South Africa - May 2016

We also will be traveling in Morocco. Marrakech is our home base. 

5. Activities Experience / Preference? (Treking Dry Land, Ice & Snow, Jungle, Animal Safaris, Water sports, Climbing, Aerial Activities)
Open to most anything. I lost half my body weight in the last 3 years and am conquering anything I can now! The only adversion I really have is to water activities that involve getting in the water. Boats are fine! 

6. Regional Preference? Asia, Africa, South Pacific, Mediterranean, Western Europe, South or Central America, etc

Africa, Mediterranean, Western Europe are first as they're closest but would also love anything in South America.