History and Culture

At Marrakech Riad we pride ourselves on offering our guests as much support and information as they require to help them to plan their perfect stay in our beautiful Medina accommodation. Marrakech Morocco, a world heritage site
Marrakech is a culturally rich and diverse city, it has fascinating and complex historical influences. The culture, architecture, cuisine and people of this great red city all reflect the influence of traders, inhabitants and rulers who have gone before. We research and write about interesting facets of this rich historical background. We hope that these pieces of information will help you to gain an understandingof Marrakech before and during your stay with us.

Josephine Baker by Alexander calder

Alexander Calder was an artist who created dynamic sculptures using wire. He gained recognition and acclaim for his wire sculptures in Paris in the late 1920s. He once remarked that he ” Thought best in wire”. Dancing on stage wearing a banana skirt, Josephine Baker enthralled the Paris of the 1920s and ’30s.  Alexander Calder was enthralled with […]

Josephine baker tour de france1933

Never let it be said that Josephine Baker did not lead a varied life! On 27 June 1933, she started the cyclists on their way to a very eventful Tour de France. The French team, that had won the last three Tours de France, started well. Maurice Archambaud won the first stage, and lead the general […]

secret garden marrakech

The walls of Marrakech Medina hold hidden spaces. As we walk through the sun kissed, busy, vibrant streets we are often unaware of the beauty concealed behind the doors. Your first experience as a visitor to one of our riad hotels will illustrate this, as you step through the doors for the first time, the hidden […]

Jazzablanca-Festival-in-Casablanca

When it comes to the age of Jazz in Europe, and the connections to the Belle Epoque in Marrakech one name is iconic : Josephine Baker. Imagine a trip to Morocco which immerses you in the world of Josephine and a festival of Jazz music! Flying to Marrakech you can book your stay Riad Star, […]

Marrakech dance event

There are always wonderful cultural events to enjoy when visiting Morocco. This dance event fuses world dance in a contemporary context and will be held at 8.30 pm on March 2nd 2017 at Dar Atakafa in Marrakech. BLASMIA a contemporary dance group invites you to discover and interact with tribal forms of dance from all over the […]

Amber Beads Morocco

Morocco is the furthest West of the countries of the Mahgreb, these countries which are situated along the North African coast are at the end of the long and hugely important silk routes from the East. Along this highway of commerce came caravans with exotic treasures to trade. The 10th century written accounts from those who trod this […]

The Music of Morocco has been influenced by many cultures and reflects the location geographically of the country. Morocco’s location has given a unique combination of musical styles, with aspects of Spanish, Sub Saharan, Middle Eastern and of course indigenous Amazigh culture all represented. Historical phases of Morocco’s history have also played a part in […]

Henna Marrakech

Henna has been used since through time to dye skin, hair, and fingernails, as well as fabrics including silk, wool, and leather. A cosmetic dye ids derived from the powdered leaves of the Henna (Lawsonia inermis, also known as hina, the henna tree, the mignonette tree, and the Egyptian privet) plant. The Earliest written evidence of the use of henna is from the […]

Synagogue Marrakech

Jewish traders and farmers have lived in Morocco’s since the time of the Roman Empire. The largest Jewish immigration to Morocco came in 1492, when Queen Isabella I of Castille ordered them to convert to Christianity or leave Spain. Each Moroccan city had a separate Jewish quarter called a Mellah.  Moroccan Jews became known for […]

Ibn Fadhlan expedition to Finland

The Arabian traders of the silk routes between China and Morocco carried diverse treasures. They also carried news and tales of their encounters along their way. The Arab traders of Baghdad were very accustomed to trading with many cultures and civilisations. Early written records made by Abbasid historians tell of trade with Scandinavians. This written […]

Olive market Marrakech

Cured olives are ever present at the moroccan dinner table. Locally grown and picked by hand, the food miles are minimal and the taste sensation is maximum! There are wide selections on offer in the Olive Market, located close to Djema el Fna Square. Our free smartphone App the Marrakech Riad Travel Guide will guide […]

Dyed wool in Marrakech

The age old tradition of natural dying continues to this day in the heart of the Marrakech Medina. In the vast and sprawling souks of the red city there are small courtyards, tucked away, where you can see these traditional arts. They are as much a part of daily life now as they have been […]

Water Vendors in Marrakech

Water sellers in Marrakech. In local dialect these men are called Gharrib. They carry a goat skin tar lined bag, this bag holds water. Historically these were important traders in the Desert environment, but now they cater mainly for entertainment. Moroccans consider it to be lucky ( Barakka) to drink the water they sell, so […]

Saffron Harvest in Morocco

Saffron is a prized cookery and natural medicine ingredient. Saffron is cultivated in the Siroua Mountains of Southern Morocco. The region is prosperous and famous due to this valuable crop. With a value greater than that of gold per gram this little flower really does hold hidden treasure. Saffron is the stamens of a crocus. […]

Seven saints memorial , Marrakech

There are seven patron saints of Marrakech. These men were Sufi mystics and Islamic Scholars. It is believed that these seven saints are only sleeping and will awaken to continue their good deeds. Their tombs are visited each year by pilgrims during the Zaira pilgrimage. A pilgrimage to the tombs offers an alternative to undertaking […]

tin mel mosque by colon kilkelly

Tin Mel mosque is the spiritual Amazigh (Berber) heartland of the Almohads who came out of the desert in the south and were led by the Mahdi Mohamed Ibn Toumert of the Masmoudi tribe who had returned from a pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia and declared a jihad against the Almoravids whom he considered to be decadent […]

amzigh

The Berbers refer themselves as Imaghzen. Amazigh means (roughly) free men. The term « berber » is said to be based on the Roman term for non Romans « barbarians ». They have been in North Africa for thousands of years predating the Phonecians . Prehistorique rock paintings in the Tassili region in the Hoggar mountains in Algeria show them […]

Hand of Fatima Door Knocker

The Moroccan people are famous for their hospitality and always make an effort to ensure any guest or visitor is comfortable, fed and, most importantly, given a mint tea to drink. Indeed, this warm welcoming nature is perhaps the reason that many local Marrakchis opt for large, ornate door knockers to embellish their front door. […]

Tazoukt Wood Painting

In Marrakech, there are many traditional artisanal trades that have been practiced for centuries, passed down from generation to generation. One such craft skill is the art of Tazoukt. Tazoukt is a form of woodcraft in which wooden items – including panels, boxes, ceilings and furniture – are painted in intricate patterns. The designs are […]

Le Prince Street, Marrakech

Set off the famous Jemaa el Fna Square, Passage Prince Moulay Rachid – or Le Prince Street as it is known to the locals – is one of the most popular streets in the Marrakech Medina. The street connects the main square to the south of the Medina including the long distance taxi rank, the El […]

traditional Berber Village in Morocco

The Berbers are a people ethnically indigenous to North Africa west of the Nile Valley. The Berber’s rich cultural history dates back to prehistoric times, over 4000 years ago! Their long recorded influence affected commerce by establishing trading routes between the West African and the Sub-Saharan region where they transported goods from beyond the Sahara desert […]

Imlil, High Atlas Mountains_-2

The high Atlas village of Imlil is the gateway to the magnificent Jbel Toubkal, the highest peak and crowning wonder of the Atlas range and the tallest mountain in North Africa. The scenery is truly stunning and, at just over an hours drive from the Marrakech, it is remarkably accessible, making it the perfect day […]

The Club Culturel Mohamed Abed Al Jabal Marrakech Book Exposition, Jemaa el Fnaa Square

Running from the 15th January 2015 to the 10th February 2015 Marrakech’s world famous Jemaa el Fnaa square hosted a book exposition hosted by ‘Club Culturel Mohamed Abed Al Jabal Marrakech’. The late Mohamed Abed Al-Jabri (1935-2010) is a popular Moroccan philosopher who specialised in considering the convergence of tradition and modernity in the contemporary […]

caligraphy

Calligraphy, known as Khatt in Arabic, is very much part of the Arab identity. On your trip to Marrakech, you will see that it is all around you: on shop signs, newspapers, books and advertising. It has become a way of communicating through art. We met up with Nour-Eddine Boukheir, a traditionally trained calligrapher, who […]

Hole in Marrakech Ramparts

Stretching for 16km around the medina, the extensive ramparts of Marrakech are impossible to miss; they may even be the your first sight of the red city. You may notice that the walls themselves are marked with numerous holes. Although many local Marrakchis will tell you conflicting stories as how the holes were formed, we […]

Miaara Jewish Cemetery, Marrakech

The tight streets of the Mellah – traditionally the Jewish neighbourhood of Marrakech – are an atmospheric corner of the red city. It is here where once can find the 17th Century Miaara Jewish Cemetery. Set east of the El Badi Palace and South of the Bahia Palace in the heart of the Mellah, tucked […]

Moroccan Flag in wind

The Moroccan flag is a common sight in the streets of Marrakech; it can be found flying proudly in both the new town of Gueliz and the old town Medina. Indeed, the Moroccan people are often very patriotic and you will find many Marrakchi locals will proudly tell you about the history of their country […]