Djemma el Fna
Djemma el Fna is the place where you can have the local food. from the pics you can see there are many for you to choose. Prices are reasonable, ranges from DH20 - 50. I had dinner there for 3 nights.
The dinner from the pic is Tanji and salad.
Eating - The Food Stalls
As dusk falls dozens of food stalls set up to feed the hungry tourists. Each stall offers much the same thing at much the same prices. Fried fish, skewered chicken, Tajine, soup, an array of salads, bread olives and drinks are just a few of the things available. The prices are not particularly cheap, as they are aiming purely at the tourists, but are reasonable. I think I had the most expensive meal on offer, the Fish Mix (a selection of fried fish and prawns) which, with a couple of salad dishes and a drink worked out at 80 Dirhams.
The Dyers Area
Here you will find the activities involved in dyeing wool and silk - so you will find here skeins of wool and silk freshly dyed and still wet hanging out to dry in the sun and warm air.
And then of course the end products for sale too - with prices still in need of a good haggle to get down to the value! ie pretty silk scarves in a range of lovely shades but with a starting over priced price of 450 dirham! which i got down to 150 dirham but when checking prices later that we had paid the opinions of our moroccan connections were that they shouldve been 80-100 dirhams.
We were brought here by our 'guide' which gratefully included a climb up onto the roof of a local multistoried building which gave us great views down into the dyers souk below us and the surrounding area.
A brief History of Marrakesh
"Marra Kouch (Ancient name for Marrakesh)"
The first inhabitants of this North African country were the Berbers, they were of Causcasian origin, light skinned, fair haired and without the Islamic religion which was introduced by the Arabs many years later. It was once the Arabs settled alongside the Berbers that a Dynastic rule became the way of life here in Morocco
Only in 1062 was Marrakesh founded by the Almoravids dynasty, a location that was able to control most of the more important passes through the Atlas mountains. It was initially a military area that became a trading post as it's position between the Sahara and the Atlas mountains proved to be an ideal spot for business.
The Almoravids then conquered the whole of Morocco and went on during 1086 to take over a lot of the Iberian Pininsular, then gradually their empire included Portugal, some of West Africa and Algeria too.
Today in Marrakesh the only evidence of the reign of the Almoravids is the ruins of Koubba El Badiyin, a major Mosque of their times.
By 1147 another clan called the Almohads had taken over the rule of the land, they knocked down old Marra Kouch and rebuilt it, their own Mosque still stands, that of Koutoubia and the Kasbah Mosque plus plenty of others also. This clan also managed to conquer Spain once again along with Tunis, Tripoli and southern Algeria.
By the 15th Century the Merenid dynasty was in decline and Europe on the attack. The Portuguese entered the African continent and took over Mogador (today known as Essaouira). Ports were taking over from the trans-Saharan trade routes and thus Morocco went into decline.
Eventually it was the time of the Saadians who reclaimed their land and took back from the Portuguese what they had grasped, they also reinvented Marrakesh. They set aside an area for the Jews, the Christians and installed fountains and hammams in the city. The trade routes were also re-established at this time.
The Alaouites then came into power and rule Morocco still to this day. During their reign there has been the slaughter it is said of 30 000 people by Ismail, the leader who died after 54 years of controlling the country. By the 19th century not a lot had changed, no progress had happened, still they traded in leather, livestock, olive oil, corn and slaves.
In 1912 the French took over the rule of Morocco and during their time they installed railways and ports and added French style houses to the Medina. To avert war the French General agreed to install Thami El Glaoui as Lord of Marrakesh and Madani commander of the South, these brothers were of the Glaoui tribe.
In time a new sultan Mohammed V reigned. In 1956 he became King Mohammed V, he brought in a democratic election which he never lived to witness, his son King Hassan II took over and in 1963 the election was won by coalition of royalists and socialists.
There was a lot of unrest during this period caused by poverty but compounded by natural disasters, such as drought, locusts devastating crops and an earthquake in Agadir which killed 15,000 people.
As poverty continued, people congregated in the towns. A city of illegal traders emerged, unregistered taxi's, peddlers and hustlers. Hashish farming became popular and fuelled the black economy.
During the late 50's and 60's Marrakesh turned into a place of exotic, colourful, balmy climate, enticing people into the now infamous brothels particularly those of gay preference, to this day it remains a 'queens' paradise.
Brian Jones (Rolling Stones), his girlfriend and the rest of the band partook of drugs and partied at the Getty's residence here in Marrakesh.
The King survived two assasination attempts but eventually died in July 1999, he was succeeded by his son King Mohammed VI. He has proved a popular leader, improving human rights and improved rights for women, political exiles were released and political detainees were allowed to leave. He has cracked down on touts and hustlers making Marrakesh a 'friendlier' place to visit today.