Marrakesh, nicknamed the Pearl of the South, or Door of the South, and the red City, is situated inside lands, at the foot of the Atlas Mountains. The city was founded in 1062 by Youssef Ibn Tachfin, king of the dynasty amazighe Almoravides. The Portuguese pronunciation of the word Marrakesh, “Marrocos”, besides gave the name of the country “Morocco”. The city became the capital of the Emirate almoravide which extends banks of Senegal up to the center of Spain and Atlantic coast to Algiers. The city is then strengthened by the son of Youssef Ibn Tachfin, Ali Ben Youssef, who makes build by 1122-1123 the still visible ramparts. In the XIIIth century, the city declines and the capital is transferred in Fes. At the beginning of the XVIth century, Marrakesh becomes again the capital of the kingdom, having been having been the seat of emirs Hintata. At the end of the XVIIth century, the Alawi dynasty take the power. The throne is transferred then successively in Fes then in Meknes, new imperial city. Sultan Mohammed III ( 1757-1790 ) chooses the city as place of main residence, because of the closeness of Mogador, which he makes reconstruct and re-strengthen.
The medina extends over a global surface of 600 hectares; articulated around a military camp, Qsar El Hajar, and of a market, her is increased by a kasbah in the XIIth century to protect it from assaults repeated by the Berber tribes of the plain of Haouz, so contributing to sit durably the hegemony Almoravide. The ramparts of the old town of Marrakesh undergo important modifications according to the dynasties. So, they are drilled by new doors (Bab in Arabic), on many occasions. They extend over a total distance of 19 kilometers today. The medina is registered on the UNESCO world heritage list since 1985. Go, yalla!
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