Moroccon Imperial Cities – Marrakesh

Day 7 – Thurs. May 6th – Marrakesh – We have arrived safely in Marrakesh. The name conjures up notions of antiquity and camel caravans moving silently and slowly across the giant Sahara carrying gold and salt to distant lands.

Marrakesh is a city in southern Morocco. It’s history goes back for over a thousand years.

The country of Morocco is named after Marrakesh. The city was founded in 1070 by the Almoravids as the capital of their empire. It was also the capital of the Almohad Caliphate from 1147.

Marrakesh lies in the plain south of the Tensift River. It has been occupied by the Berbers since neolithic times.

Abu Bakr and the Almoravid cheiftains first pitched their tents here at the oasis north of the river. To the south was the Haorouz Plane. Date palms were soon planted and the area eventually became the breadbasket of Morocco.

The Qasr al-Hajar or Castle of Stone, the Almoravid treasury and armory fort was the first stone building constructed there in May of 1070.

The red stone gave Marrakesh it’s distinctive color and nick name of Marrakesh the Red.The city was laid out over the remains of the older tent city that came before it at the oasis.