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Marvel at the marble in Saadian Tombs

We’re excited to be here in Marrakesh revealing our holiday hotspots and must-see sites, showing you why this exotic destination is voted ‘top tour destination’ year after year. There are so many incredible things to see and do here in this energetic city, it’s easily won our vote and we hope it’s won your vote too!

Marvel at the marble in Saadian Tombs

Accessible only via a small (secret-looking) gate behind the Kasbah Mosque lies the magnificent, majestic Saadian Tombs and one of our top tour spots.

Originally built in the early 1500’s, it was by the order of Sultan Al-Mansur (the fifth and final Saadian ruler) who decided to expanded the site, turning it into an architectural masterpiece with over 100 royal family members and high-ranking officials being buried here.

Having the finest no-expense-spared marble imported direct from Italy, the tomb ceilings were intricately carved from cedar wood and painted with rare Sudanese gold (yes, real gold) - a way of showcasing Sultan Al-Mansur’s royal wealth and grandeur for centuries to come.

Following the Sultan’s death in 1603, war subsequently broke out over territory forcing the royal family to relocate to the safety of Fez, as the new ruler sealed off the entire complex from view - surrounding it with enormous rose-hued walls the city is now famed for, with the exception of the small entrance way still used today.  

Left undisturbed for centuries, the tombs naturally became overrun with weeds, sand and stray cats until its rediscovery in 1917 when aerial photographs reveal its location – still intact and still glistening with gold!

This is a must-see site and great way to appreciate the splendour of the Saadian dynasty!

What we did: ate at one of the many local coffee houses opposite the tombs for lunch, then met with our tour guide who gave us an interesting insight of the tombs’ history. A history-buff’s dream!

Remember: credit cards are not accepted here, so ensure you come with your entrance fee in cash (less than €1 per person).

Top tip:  We suggest going mid-afternoon, this is when you’ll see the sunlight beaming down into the complex to reveals its beauty and gleaming gold – and best time to take amazing pictures too!

Thanks a bunch for following us on our third stop of this magical city, there’s more marvellous stories to come soon. 

Come and visit Morocco - the "farthest land of the setting sun", a destination rich in contrasts that beckons you to discover two millennia of history.

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