The Saadian Tombs in Marrakech

If you’re looking to absorb some history on your visit to Marrakech, one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions is the Saadian Tombs, the final resting place of the rulers and other members of the Saadi Dynasty, one of the best examples of Islamic art in Morocco.

The first known burial took place following the reign of Sultan Ahmed el Mansour (1578-1603), sixth sultan of the Saadi Dynasty which held sway from the mid-sixteenth to the late seventeenth century.

When Moulay Ismail (1672-1727) came to power he sealed off the tombs in an effort to remove all trace of his predecessors. They only came to light again in 1917 upon their rediscovery by the French following an aerial survey.

Because the tombs had been sealed for so many years they were found to be in a state of near-immaculate preservation and the Moroccan Beaux-Arts service has since restored the site itself to its original splendour.

Beautifully scripted Arabic texts on mosaic tiles and intricate carvings in cedar wood are the most prominent features of the two mausoleums.

The highlight is the exquisitely decorated Hall of the Twelve Columns, containing the grave of the sultan’s son, Ahmad al-Mansur.

The Tombs are located next to the Kasbah Mosque in Marrakesh, some 400 m from Les Borjs de la Kasbah. There is a 10 dirham entry fee.

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