[WORLDKINGS] Exceptional places around the world (P.161) – Marrakech (Morocco) : The city of busy marketplaces for spices and crafts

24-10-2020

(WorldKings.org) Known as the ‘red city’, most people visit Marrakech in search of its maze-like medina and bustling souks, full of trinkets and spices.

A souk is a name given to an Arab market. Traditionally an open-air market that locals relied on for their essential items, a souk would have traveling merchants passing through them once a week, once a month, or at other infrequent periods. Marrakech’s strategic location at the heart of Morocco, however, meant that many traders came through the city every day.

The vast number of traders visiting Marrakech is a major reason why the medina has so many gates; access to the main part of the city was made easier for merchants. The medina’s large gates opened early in the morning and closed every evening. Merchants who arrived late had to spend the night outside of the protective walls. Those who arrived in time typically slept in mosques, or fondouqs – accommodation for merchants and their animals. The trading action took place at Djemaa el-Fna, the city’s large square, with numerous sellers offering an array of goods.

Unless you stay fairly close to the web of streets branching off Djemaa el-Fna, it’s very easy to get lost in Marrakech’s souks. The narrow alleyways, with overflowing items that snake off to more thin passageways with even more goods, can all start to look very similar. Many are covered too, making it even more difficult to get a good idea of where you are. Wandering the souks with a local guide is the best way to explore if you’re concerned about getting lost, especially if time is short. Make sure the guide is licensed.

The huge variety of items on sale in the souks of Marrakech makes some people travel with an empty suitcase, ready to load up with goodies to take home. Pottery stalls can be found in abundance – tagine pots in all sizes, serving plates, soup bowls and small tagine-like dip holders are especially common. Jeweled glassware and ornate teapots can make a pretty addition to a dining room back home.

Vibrantly coloured aromatic spices are often among the first things people think of when imagining the souks of Marrakech.

Traditional woven Moroccan carpets and handmade Berber boucherouite (rugs) are proudly displayed at numerous stalls. Colourful lamps and lanterns hang from the rafters and surrounding doorways.

According to theculturetrip.com


Mihan (Collect and edit) (World Records Union - WorldKings.org)

 

towerWorldKings journeys
islandvilalage
WCSA
ASEAN BOOK OF RECORDSASIA BOOK OF RECORDS
CAMBODIA BOOK OF RECORDSWorld Records University
worldmark