Commissioned by Ali Ben Yousef back in 1126, the ramparts that surround Marrakech’s old town have become the symbol of the red city. Standing at 8-10m high they once provided protection for the inhabitants of Marrakech and, until the early 20th century, the 10 gates that give access to the Medina (Marrakech’s old town) were locked every night. Today, the ramparts are a lot more welcoming. You will find that they are often lined with neat hedgerows, rose gardens and benches; indeed they have become a popular meeting and resting place for many locals.
You may notice that the walls themselves are marked with numerous holes. Where you could be fooled into believing that these holes were formed by canon blasts or birds looking for somewhere to nest, they are actually used to place scaffolding for restoration. Of course the ramparts have been extensively restored since their conception; indeed the reconstruction is a continual process as the pisé-cement walls, made of the red earth of the Haouz plains, gradually crumble.
To discover the ramparts you can take a caléche (a hourse drawn cart), for a four-hour ride including walking breaks at points of interest.