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(both: märä`kĕsh, mə–), city (1994 pop. 672,478), W central Morocco. The city, renowned for leather goods, is one of the principal commercial centers of Morocco and a major tourist center. It was founded (1062) by the Almoravid leader Yusuf ibn Tashfin and was the capital of Morocco from then until 1147 and again from 1550 to 1660. It was captured by the French in 1912.

Beautifully situated near the Atlas Mts., Marrakech has extensive gardens, ruins of a 16th-century palace, a former palace of the sultan that is now a museum of Moroccan art, and a royal necropolis (16th–18th cent.). The 253-ft (77-m) minaret (completed 1195) of the Koutoubia mosque dominates the city. The Université Ben Youssef, a center of Islamic studies, and a public university are in Marrakech.



(also Marrakesh), a city in southwestern Morocco at the foot of the Grand Atlas; administrative center of the province of Marrakech. Population, 332,700 (1971). The principal economic center of southern Morocco, Marrakech has a railroad station and is a highway junction. It has food (fruit and vegetable canning, meat packaging, flour milling, vegetable oil extraction), chemical (plastics factory), textile, garment, and wood-products industries. Cottage industries include leather dressing and the manufacture of rugs and Morocco leather.

Marrakech was founded by the Almoravides circa 1070 (according to other sources, 1060 or 1062). In European literature the name “Marrakech” (Marrakush, Morocco) was later used to designate the entire country. In the middle of the 12th century, Marrakech was an important trading center. Under the Almoravides, Almohads, and the Saadian sherifs (1554-1659), Marrakech was the capital of Morocco. During the feudalistic civil war, it was the residence of the country’s southern rulers. With the establishment of the French protectorate over Morocco in 1912, Marrakech’s political importance declined somewhat. After the proclamation of Morocco’s independence in 1956, the city became the administrative center of Marrakech Province.

The old city, the medina, has an irregular layout, with a labyrinth of winding streets and numerous architectural monuments. The domed, brick Koubba al-Baroudiyin Pavilion (11th-12th centuries) is decorated with carved stucco and has six arches. The 17-aisled Kutubiyyah Mosque (concrete, stone, and brick; 1153) has domes with stalactite squinches and paneled ceilings, as well as a minaret (stone, 1184-99). Other structures in the medina are 16th-century religious complexes, the Ben Yusuf-madrasah with eight courtyards (1565), and the Bahia Palace (1894-1900). To the south of the medina is the Casbah with the Bab-Aquenau gateway (12th century, carved stone decoration), a mosque (1197, with 14th-, 15th-, and 16th-century additions), a cemetery (late 16th-century tombs), a 16th-century palace, and a 19th-century palace.

The modern city, which was founded in 1913, is located west of the medina and has a regular layout. To the east of the old city there is a district of hotels, villas, and a casino with palm groves and ponds. The Museum of Moroccan Art is in the Dar si Said Palace (late 19th century). There is a museum of gems and ceramics and a faculty of the University of Qarawin in Marrakech.


Meunié, J., and H. Terrasse. Nouvelles Recherches archéologiques a Marrakech. Paris [1957].


, Marrakesh
a city in W central Morocco: several times capital of Morocco; tourist centre. Pop.: 672 000 (2003)
References in periodicals archive ?
Several times it happened that mighty black clouds had threatened Marakesh, thunder had rumbled, it had started hailing, but as soon as someone passing by began ringing the bells, the dark clouds broke as if by a miracle, skirting the entire Marakesh Valley.
I had the great pleasure of going to Marakesh, for example, and I'll never forget drinking crushed almond milk, and enjoyed the wonders of the desert, and then was able to see snow-capped mountains shortly in the distance, in the short distance.
Silk Trail is a high-summer story that journeys from Casablanca to Marakesh with shades of sand accented by soft coral and mint.
AFTER news of his 50th birthday extravaganza at Marakesh, it seems that Britain's richest MP Shaun Woodward has no worries of the credit crunch.
Waechtersbach introduced a solid-color line of square dinnerware called Freestyle, with Marakesh, Palazzo and Uni as patterned square accent pieces.
She will miss the Northern Ireland-hosted world cross-country championships, in which last season she won the 8km and 4km gold medals on successive days in Marakesh.
George penned the song while in Marakesh on a family holiday immediately after the death of his friend.
If ever a man was dressed by a colour-blind carpet salesmen in a Marakesh souk, it is him.
There aren't estate agents as such in Marakesh and it is all word of mouth.
In all wool constructions, Fresco is a heavy construction with an accented block pattern; Pointview spotlights pin dots in alternating colors; and Marakesh is a tufted parquet pattern.
The injury he picked up in the British Trials scarcely helped, but Spencer Duval was none too p leased with himself for finishing a distant 111th at the World Cross Country Championships in Marakesh last weekend.
Already-announced ITT Sheraton openings for 1993 include the 156-room Sheraton Agadir Hotel in Agadir, Morocco, which opened in February; Sheraton Genova Hotel in Genoa (278 rooms), Italy which will open this June; Sheraton Marakesh Hotel (300 rooms) in Marakesh, Morocco; and the Sheraton Fez Hotel (300 rooms) in Fez, Morocco.