The oldest building in Marrakech is the Kouba Baroudiyine, the washrooms from the original Mosque built by, and named after Ben Yussef the second King of the Almoravid dynasty. Sadly this is the only remaining example of the highly decorated architecture of this period. It features some fantastic details which are echoed in later islamic buildings.
The Kouba was completed in the year 1117 and the foundations have an inscription which is believed to be the oldest inscription in cursive script in the whole of North Africa. It reads ‘I was created for science and prayer, by the prince of the believers, descendant of the prophet, Abdallah, most glorious of all Caliphs. Pray for him when you enter the door, so that you may fulfill your highest hopes.’
To the east of the Koubba are a series of vaulted chambers which were reservoirs for the washroom was supplied by water from the Atlas mountains channelled through the remarkable Almoravid system of canals and underground channels that also fed the public fountains of Marrakech and made possible the remarkable growth of the walled city in this period.
Opening Times: Every day from 9h to 13h and from 14h30 to 18h
Entrance fee: 10 dh
Our Riad Cinnamon is located just a few hundred yards from the Kouba. The great thing about staying in such a central location is you can enjoy the monuments and museums, retreat to the privacy of the Riad, then go out again to the hustle and bustle of the souks! Reserve accommodation today!
The historic El Baroudiyine district is located in the centre of the Marrakech medina at the northern edge of the Souks which lead down to the Jema al Fna.
The area contains some of the most important Islamic buildings in the Medina all located around the open ‘Place de la kisaria’.
To the north, built in the twelth centry by an Almoravid Sultan of the same name, is the Ben Youssef Mosque, the largest mosque in the medina. The Ben Youssef serves the community of the central medina and is approaching the end of a comprehensive renovation during which many of the locals have prayed at home. In common with most other mosques in morocco it is not open to non muslims.
Adjacent to the mosque is the Ben Youssef Medersa , considered by some the finest building in the city after the Koutoubia Minaret. The Medersa is a Koranic school and is usually open to the public from 9am to 6 pm allowing visitors to appreciate its richly decorated sixteenth century interior.
On east side of Place de la Kisaria is the renowned Musee de Marrakech (Marrakesh Museum) which occupies a stunning palace built by Mehdi Mnebhi a nineteenth century government minister and restored in the 1990’s by Omar Benjelloun. The museum shows an important collection of Moroccan art and sculpture open from 9 am to 7 pm. It also hosts an exciting programme of contemporary exhibitions.
In the midst of all this culture and history the area actually takes its name from its oldest monument of all. Marrakech’s only remaining example of a complete building from the 11th century Almoravid dynasty, the Koubba El Baroudiyine. At first sight a modest structure the Koubba is of huge architectural significance containing in its simple design many of the arches shapes and decorations on which centuries of Islamic buildings have been based. It is normally open from 9am to 1pm and 2.30 to 6 pm.
Riad Cinnamon is located on the quiet Derb El Hajra off the Rue Baroudiyine to the east of the Ben Yousef Mosque in the heart of the Baroudiyine distirct. The luxury Riad hotel is only two hundred metres from the Place de Kisaria and is the perfect base from which to explore this extraordinary area.