The Saadian tombs in Marrakech’s medina are the resting place of the former royal dynasty of Morocco, built in the 16th century by Sultan Ahmad al-Mansur they were lost for many years only to be rediscovered by archaeologists in 1917. Since then they have become an integral part of any culture or history fans visit to Marrakech. The tombs themselves are a collection of archways and small buildings housing the caskets of former rulers from the Saadi dynasty, this dynasty was so opulent and rich that they were in fact known as the golden Saadis, it is perhaps then no surprise that their tombs show such wonderful artwork and craftsmanship. There are thought to be around 60 of the members of the dynasty buried in the tombs and after their rediscovery the tombs underwent a renovation by Beaux-arts service, therefore what the visitor views is more recent renovation than 500 year old tomb, however this allows for the tombs to be both very aesthetically pleasing as well as having a great historical significance. Marrakech was indeed the capital of the Saadian sultanate and it is therefore unsurprising that their tombs should be located here, although Marrakesh is no longer the capital of Morocco one certainly gets a view on the historic importance of this city by visiting the tombs and a comprehension of their place in Morocco’s heritage.
The most famous room of the tombs is the 12 columned chamber and it is in this room that the grave of the Sultan Ahmad al-Mansur is believed to be buried. The tombs are very cheap to enter with a regular adult costing less than £1, this and the tombs proximity to the square Jemaa el Fna mean that for any true culture or history fan the tombs are a must. Our Riads are situated in the heart of the Medina, a mere 5 minute walk from Jemaa el Fna and 10 minutes from the tombs, allowing a great starting point to explore the medina from, as well as providing top class service and quality. Book a room now and you too can become a satisfied customer and sample the delights of our Riads and Marrakech.
Opening times: Wednesday to Monday from 8h00 to 11h45 and from 14h30 to 17h45
Saadian Tombs, Kasbah
Located South of the Jema al fna in the Royal Kasbah district of Marrakech. The Saadian tombs were sealed in the sixteenth century and left largely undisturbed until 1917. They are now open to the public and are one of the most extraordinary sights in the city having been restored to their original spendour.
More than 150 Saadian princes and members of the Royal household are buried here within two mausoleums and an extensive graveyard courtyard garden. Most of the tombs are covered with ornate zellige tile decoration and their collective visual impact is quite remarkable.
Saadian Tombs, access
The access to the tombs is via a tiny passageway to the right Kasbah Mosque, there are quite clear signposts. Entrance is inexpensive at just 10 Dirhams and the site is extremely popular. If you find yourself waiting in line look up to the right and scan the skyline for the nests of Storks, the sacred bird of Marrakech.
Opposite the entrance to the tombs are a number of small local food sellers many of whom moved here from the Jema al fnaa. Serving almost entirely locals these excellent and inexpensive eateries are one of Marrakech best kept secrets.