From the Wikipedia entry for Marrakesh:
Marrakesh is a major city of Morocco. It is the fourth largest city in the country, after Casablanca, Fez and Tangier. It is the capital city of the mid-southwestern region of Marrakesh-Safi. Located to the north of the foothills of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains, Marrakesh is situated 580 km (360 miles) southwest of Tangier, 327 km (203 miles) southwest of the Moroccan capital of Rabat, 239 km (149 miles) south of Casablanca, and 246 km (153 miles) northeast of Agadir.
Marrakesh is possibly the most important of Morocco's four former imperial cities. The region has been inhabited by Berber farmers since Neolithic times, but the actual city was founded in 1062, by Abu Bakr ibn Umar, chieftain and cousin of Almoravid king Yusuf ibn Tashfin. In the 12th century, the Almoravids built many madrasas (Koranic schools) and mosques in Marrakesh that bear Andalusian influences. The red walls of the city, built by Ali ibn Yusuf in 1122–1123, and various buildings constructed in red sandstone during this period, have given the city the nickname of the "Red City" or "Ochre City". Marrakesh grew rapidly and established itself as a cultural, religious, and trading center for the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa; Jemaa el-Fnaa is the busiest square in Africa.
The Medina of Marrakesh is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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From the Wikipedia entry for El Badi Palace:
El Badi Palace (meaning The incomparable palace) is a ruined palace located in Marrakesh. It was commissioned by the sultan Ahmad al-Mansur of the Saadian dynasty sometime shortly after his accession in 1578. The palace's construction was funded by a substantial ransom paid by the Portuguese after the Battle of the Three Kings.
The palace took fifteen years to build, with construction finally completed around 1593 and was a lavish display of the best craftsmanship of the Saadian period. Constructed using some of the most expensive materials of the time, including gold and onyx, the colonnades are said to be constructed from marble exchanged with Italian merchants for their equivalent weight in sugar. The original building is thought to have consisted of 360 richly decorated rooms, a courtyard (135x110 m (443x360 ft)) and a central pool (90x20 m (300x70 ft)).
From the Wikipedia entry for Koutoubia Mosque:
The Koutoubia Mosque is the largest mosque in Marrakesh, Morocco. It is located in the southwest medina quarter of Marrakesh. The mosque is ornamented with curved windows, a band of ceramic inlay, pointed merlons, and decorative arches; it has a large plaza with gardens, and is floodlit at night. The minaret, 77 m (253 ft) in height, includes a spire and orbs. It was completed under the reign of the Berber Almohad Caliph Yaqub al-Mansur (1184 to 1199), and has inspired other buildings such as the Giralda of Seville and the Hassan Tower of Rabat.
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