Morocco / Cities and Towns /
City in Morocco with 840,000 inhabitants (2005 estimate), situated in the interior of middle Morocco, just north of the High Atlas mountains, on the Haouz plain and south of the seasonal river Wadi Tensift.
12th century Koutoubia Mosque, a landmark of Marrakech and Morocco.
There are several great gates into the city. This one is called Bab Agnaou, or the Palace Gate.
The Menara Pavillion, reused by every new generation of romantic youth.
The famous Jemaa el Fna, the heart of Marrakech. Something happens here all day and all night.
Suuq streets protected against the baking midday sun.
It is the capital of Marrakech-Tensift-El-Haouz region with 3.1 million inhabitants (2005 estimate) and an area of 31,160 km².
Marrakech is now a commercial and touristic centre. Among the industries of Marrakech are processing of fruit, vegetables, and palms, tanning, wool, flour, building materials, leather products, carpets, and mining of lead, zinc, copper, molybdenum and graphite.
Marrakech is a Berber city, with little influence by Arabs. Marrakech has been the capital of Morocco, as well as for smaller countries up through history. There are many monuments in Marrakech, most famous is the Koutoubia mosque. It is the old city, the suuq and the square in front, Jamaa l-Fnaa, that attracts most tourists.
It is from Marrakech that Morocco has received its modern name. Europeans got the name of the city wrong, first reducing the "ch"-sound to s, and later even removing the ending until the French were left with "Maroc" and the English "Morocco".
1062: A capital for the Almoravids is founded by Yussuf bni Tashufin. It gets the name "Marra Kouch", which means "Land of the Kouch-men". Kouch was the name given to warriors with black complexion from modern Mauritania.
1147: Marrakech is captured the Almohads and all religious and civil buildings are destroyed. Constructions of the Koutoubia mosque and the Menara Gardens are started both are central landmarks in today's Marrakech.
1269: The Merenids take control over Marrakech, but they make Fez into their capital.
1274: Caravan routes are moved, depriving Marrakech of central sources of income. This results in serous decline for the city's economy.
1522: Saadians take control over Marrakech. The place is now a poor place largely in ruins, but with the Saadian arrival it is turned into the new capital of southern Morocco.
End of 16th century: Marrakech is restored to former glory, and becomes the culturally and economically leading city of Morocco. By the turn of the century, Marrakech has about 60,000 inhabitants.
1669: Marrakech is captured by the sultan of the Alaouites, and once again, the capital activities are moved to Fez.
Mid 18th century: Large parts of Marrakech are restored by Muhammad 3.
1912: Marrakech is for a short period of time captured by the Saharan chieftain, El Hiba.
With the arrival of the French protectorate, the Glaoua family is put into the administration of the city under French protection.
1913: The French start building a French-style city outside the old city walls.
1956: With the coming of Moroccan independence, the capital of the new kingdom is situated to Rabat, and Marrakech becomes a provincial capital, only.