Hop On Hop Off and the Kasbah

bus

I don’t normally do this.  I like exploring a place on my own, by foot as much as possible.  But somehow in the flurry of things, I agreed to hop on this bus (price of which is outrageous by my standard – but what the heck!) and surveyed the city.

Tour-Historique

We got on near the Koutoubia Mosque, made a quick drive through around the entire city and got off where we got on.

koutoubia

A glimpse of where the hop on hop off bus took us.

club mediterreneanClub Mediterranean
Av.-Abd.-KhattabiAv. Abd. Khattabi — This major route connects Casablanca and the road to Agadir.
La-Gare-Ferroviere-ONCFLa Gare Ferroviere — ONCF Train Station
Avenue-PrinceAvenue Prince with the Atlas Mountains as backdrop.

Hivernage

With that overview, we thought that the southern part of the medina was a good area to spend the rest of the day.

Kasbah-Mosque

Approaching the Kasbah, a few steps away from the medina, one immediately sees the Kasbah Mosque, probably the 2nd best-known mosque in Marrakech (Koutoubia being the most famous).  kasbah-mosque-2

Built in 1190, the 12th century, historic mosque (known locally as Moulay Yasid Mosque) still features some of the Almohad architecture.  As with most mosques, non-Muslims are off-limits.

Attached to the mosque are the Saadian Tombs, one of the most prominent sites in Marrakech.

line-at-Saadian-Tombs

Set in a small ancient walled garden, the 16th century dynastic tombs of the Saadians are among the finest example of Islāmic art.

garden-saadian-tombs

Dotted around the shrubbery are the early mosaic graves of lost identities.  These tombs were discovered preserved, unchanged since the glory days of the Saadian rulers.

saadian-tomb

When discovered in the early 20th century, the entrance was blocked, which may be the reason it remained untouched for hundreds of years.

Untitled-1

A short walk through the Kasbah’s streets will bring you to the Badi Palace.

badi-palace

A sultan’s palace, the elaborate 350 rooms, 16th century residence had ornately decorated rooms in its day.

badi-palace-2

Walls and ceilings were encrusted with gold while the inner court had an enormous pool in the center and flanked by 4 sunken gardens.

badi-palace-door

Today it is a denuded ruin when thieves emptied the rooms of valuables after Meknes became the capital in the late 1600s.

badi-palace-entrance

And storks and pigeons had found a home to build their nests in its walls.

Untitled-2Still, these are rubbles worth exploring.

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7 thoughts on “Hop On Hop Off and the Kasbah

  1. Thanks for the tour. I’d love to get lost inside that ancient walled garden. I didn’t know that most mosques were off limits to non-Muslims. It’s good to know. Club Mediterranean sounds interesting to me.

    Hazel

    Like

  2. I kinda like the hop on hop off tour despite the steep price. imho it works for people who are diy-ers and especially perfect when you only have a day to spend in the city.

    Like

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