Marrakech

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Marrakech or Marrakesh (Berber: Murakush, Arabic مراكش murrākuڑ), kent as the "Red Ceety", is the maist important umwhile imperial ceety in Morocco's history. The ceety o Marrakesh is the caipital o the mid-soothwastren economic region o Marrakech-Tensift-Al Haouz, near the fuithills o the snaw-capped Atlas Muntains.

Like mony North African ceeties, the ceety o Marrakesh comprises baith an auld fortified ceety (the médina) an an adjacent modren ceety (cawed Gueliz) for a total population o 1,070,838.[1] It is served bi Ménara Internaitional Airport (IATE code: RAK) an a rail link tae Casablanca an the north.[1]

Marrakech haes the lairgest traditional market (souk) in Morocco an an' a' haes ane o the busiest squares in Africae an the warld, Djemaa el Fna.[2] The square bustles wi acrobats, story-tellers, water sellers, dancers an muisicians. Bi nicht fuid stalls open in the square turnin it intae a huge busy open-air restaurant.

Name[eedit | eedit soorce]

View o Marrakesh an El Badi Palace, bi Adriaen Matham, 1640.

The ceety is spelled "Marrakech" in French, "Marrakech" or "Marrakesh" in Inglis, "Marrakesch" in German an "Marake؛" in Turkish. The probable oreegin o its name is frae the Berber (Amazigh) wirds mur (n) akush (ⵎⵓⵔ ⵏ ⴰⴽⵓⵛ), which means "Land o God". (The wird "mur" is uised nou in Berber maistly in the feminine form "tamurt".) The same wird "mur" appears in the names Mauretanie, the North African kinrick o the Maghreb durin wikt:Antiquity, an in contemporary Mauritanie, the naition-state sooth o Morocco, although the link remains controversial as these names mey an aa oreeginate frae navros, the ancient Greek wird for black.

Till a few decades ago, Morocco wis widely kent as "Kinrick o Marrakech" tae Arabs, Persians an Europeans. The European names o Morocco (Marruecos, Marrocos, Maroc, Marokko, etc.) are directly derived frae the Berber wird Murakush, an in mony Sooth Asian leids the kintra is in fact still kent as "Marrakesh". Conversely, the ceety itsel wis in earlier times simply cawed Marocco (Ceety) (or similar) bi travellers frae abroad. The name o the ceety an the kintra diverged efter the Treaty o Fez placed Morocco unner French influence, but the auld interchyngeable uisage lastit widely till aboot the interregnum o Mohammed Ben Aarafa. The latter episode set in motion the kintra's return tae independence, when Morocco offeecially became al-Mamlaka al-Maġribiyya (المملكة المغربية) ("The Wastren Kinrick"), its name no referrin tae the ceety o Marrakesh onymair.

History[eedit | eedit soorce]

The Koutoubia Mosque, built in the 12t century CE

Prior tae the advent o the Almoravids in the 11t century, the aurie wis ruled frae the ceety o Aghmat. The Almoravid leader, Abu-Bakr Ibn-Umar decidit Aghmat wis becomin owercroudit an chose tae build a new caipital. He decidit tae build it in the plains near the Tensift River. He chose the site o Marrakech, acause it wis in neutral territory atween twa tribes who wur vyin for the honor o hostin the new caipital. Wirk stairteit in Mey 1070, but Abu-Bakr wis recawed tae the Sahara tae put doun a rebellion in Januar 1071 an the ceety wis completit bi his deputy an eventual successor Yusuf ibn Tashfin.[3] The ceety experienced its greatest period unner the leadership o Yaqub al-Mansur, the third Almohad sultan. A number o poets an scholars entered the ceety durin his reign an he began the construction o the Koutoubia Mosque an a new kasbah.

Prior tae the reign o Moulay Ismail, Marrakech wis the caipital o Morocco. Efter his reign, his grandson moved the caipital back tae Marrakech frae Meknès.

For centuries Marrakech haes been kent for its "seiven saunts". When sufism wis at the heicht o its popularity, during the reign o Moulay Ismail, the festival o the seiven saunts wis foondit bi Abu Ali al-Hassan al-Yusi at the request o the sultan. The tombs o several renouned figures wur moved tae Marrakech tae attract pilgrims in the same way Essaouira did at that time wi its Regrega festivals. The seiven saunts (sebaatou rizjel) is nou a firmly establisht institution, attractin visitors frae aawhaur. The seiven saunts include Sidi Bel Abbas (the patron saunt o the ceety), Sidi Muhammad al-Jazuli, Sidi Abu al-Qasim Al-Suhayli, Cadi Ayyad ben Moussa, Abdelaziz al-Tebaa an Abdallah al-Ghazwani.

Marrakech wis dominatit in the first hauf o the 20t century bi T'hami El Glaoui, "Laird o the Atlas", an Pasha o Marrakech. The poet o the ceety wis Mohammed Ben Brahim an his favorite place wis café Al-Masraf. The poems an sangs o Ben Brahim are still kent bi hert bi mony Marrakshi.

Economy[eedit | eedit soorce]

Atlas Blue, a budget airline, haes its heid office on the grunds o Marrakech-Menara Airport.[4] Ither budget airlines that fly tae an frae Marrakech-Menara Airport include EasyJet an RyanAir. Frae 2010 British Airways annoonced that it haes planned tae run new services intae Marrakech, providin an alternative tae the law-cost airline experience. BMI (British Midland International) will commence flichts tae Marrakech frae Lunnon Heathrow frae Aprile 2011.

Main sichts[eedit | eedit soorce]

Main airticle: Leet o places in Marrakech
Ane o the fuid stalls that opens at nicht in the Djemaa el Fna square

Mony tourists venture frae Marrakech tae visit the valley o the Ourika River in the Atlas Muntains or the valley o the Draa River in the sooth, near the Sahara desert. They an aa tour the Middle Atlas Muntains, whaur the Waterfalls o Beni Mellal are foond, an tae Essaouira on the Atlantic ocean.

Geography[eedit | eedit soorce]

Marrakech is situatit at the fuit o the Heich Atlas, the heichest muntainous barrier in North Africae. The desert borders it tae the sooth, an the Atlantic Ocean tae the wast. Stretchin ower 700 kilometers, the Heich Atlas chain features a series o peaks of which a dozen attain 4,000 meters. Snow can be found on hilltops all year long at altitudes as low as 600 meters above sea level.

Tae the sooth arise the stretches o steppes terrain that forewarn o the burnin winds an the rigor o the Sahara. Ayont the 130,000 hectares o greenery an the 180,000 palm trees o its Palmeraie. Marrakech is an oasis of great an rich plant variety. Throughoot the saisons, orange, fig, permanganate an olive trees spew oot their fragrances an display their marvelous colors an luscious fruits. The precious gardens o the ceety conceal numerous native plants or ither species that hae been importit in the course o the centuries: Giant bamboos, yuccas, papyrus, palm trees, banana trees, cypress, philodendrons, rosebushes, bougainvilleas, pines an various kynds o cactus plants. Tae this date, Marrakech is seen as a gateway frae the Wast intae the East, anerlie 2–3 hours frae mainland Europe.

Sister ceeties[eedit | eedit soorce]

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Recensement Général De La Population Et De L'Habitat De 2004". hcp.ma. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  2. Ready for the masses? - Daily Telegraph
  3. Ibn Idhari, Al-bayan al-mughrib Part III, annotated Spanish translation by A. Huici Miranda, Valencia, 1963
  4. "Contact." Atlas Blue. 15 Februar 2008. Retrieved on 26 Juin 2010.