jeudi 9 juin 2011

The Lower Medina : the Royal palace, Saadian Tombs and Mellah

Staying in Marrakesh even for a few days, you begin to sense the different appearance and life of its various Medina quarters, and nowhere more so than in the shift from north to south, from the area to the north of Djemaa El Fna and that to the south of it. At the southern extremity ( a kind of stem to the mushroom shape of the city walls) is Dar El Makhzen, the royal palace. To its west stretches the old inner citadel of the Kasbah; to the east, the Mellah, once the largest Jewish ghetto in Morocco; while rambling to the north of it is a series of mansions and palaces built for the nineteenth-cen-tury elite.
All in all, it's an interesting area to wander round, though you inevitably spend time trying to figure out the sudden and apparently arbitrary appearance of ramparts and enclosures. And there are two obvious focal points, not to be missed : the Saadian Tombs, preserved in the shadow of the Kasbah mosque, and El Badi, the ruined palace of Ahmed El Mansour.

1 commentaire: