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Africa   >   Morocco


The Saadian Tombs are a historic royal necropolis in Marrakesh, Morocco, located on the south side of the Kasbah Mosque, inside the royal kasbah (citadel) district of the city. They date to the time of the Saadian dynasty and in particular to the reign of Ahmad al-Mansur (1578–1603), though members of Morocco's monarchy continued to be buried here for a time afterwards. The complex is regarded by many art historians as the high point of Moroccan architecture in the Saadian period due to its luxurious decoration and careful interior design. Today the site is a major tourist attraction in Marrakesh.

The early history of the necropolis is not well known. The necropolis is located right behind the qibla wall (in this case the southeastern wall) of the Kasbah Mosque which was built, along with the surrounding royal kasbah (citadel), by the Almohad caliph Abu Yusuf Ya'qub (al-Mansur) in the late 12th century (1185-1190).

The necropolis has two major structures: one to the east, surrounded by gardens on either side, and one to the west, next to the visitor entrance today. The eastern mausoleum started out first as a simple square mausoleum chamber adjoining the southern wall of the Kasbah Mosque. It is believed that this first mausoleum was built by the second Saadian sultan of Marrakesh, Moulay Abdallah al-Ghalib, between 1557 and 1574.

- Wikipedia

Image by Mesut Kaya

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