The Saadian Tombs, Marrakech, Morocco

In the Kasbah neighborhood of the Marrakech medina, tucked behind the Kasbah Mosque are the Saadian Tombs, burial grounds of the Saadi dynasty, which ruled Morocco in the 16th & 17th centuries. The mausoleum was built during the reign of sultan Ahmad al-Mansur, not the first Saadi ruler but definitely the most famous.
There are near 200 graves altogether, with the sultan and princes inside and women and officials in the garden. After the fall of the Saadis, the succeeding Alawites (still ruling Morocco today) walled up the Saadian tombs and they were lost to history until discovered in 1917.

Unless you’re seriously into Moroccan history, the main appeal of this place is the interior architecture and embellishments – Carrara marble, elaborately carved cedar and plaster, and colorful tiles, as well as the peaceful courtyard garden, which feels far removed from the busy medina.

The tombs are accessed by a path around the right side of the mosque (non-Muslims cannot enter the mosque). This is a popular tourist stop in Marrakech and can get quite busy, with long lines to enter, best to go early and with a guide.

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