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.
We got on near the Koutoubia Mosque, made a quick drive through around the entire city and got off where we got on.
A glimpse of where the hop on hop off bus took us.
With that overview, we thought that the southern part of the medina was a good area to spend the rest of the day.
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.
Set in a small ancient walled garden, the 16th century dynastic tombs of the Saadians are among the finest example of Islāmic art.
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.
When discovered in the early 20th century, the entrance was blocked, which may be the reason it remained untouched for hundreds of years.
A short walk through the Kasbah’s streets will bring you to the Badi Palace.
A sultan’s palace, the elaborate 350 rooms, 16th century residence had ornately decorated rooms in its day.
Walls and ceilings were encrusted with gold while the inner court had an enormous pool in the center and flanked by 4 sunken gardens.
Today it is a denuded ruin when thieves emptied the rooms of valuables after Meknes became the capital in the late 1600s.
And storks and pigeons had found a home to build their nests in its walls.