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Saadian Tombs, Marrakesh: 42 reviews and 107 photos
The Saadian tombs are considered to be one of the most exquisite mausoleums in North Africa, and are one of Marrakechs' most visited sites.
Open 08.30 - 11.45 and 14.30 - 17.45 daily.
Local 'official' guides are to be found near the ticket office, (A tip will be expected) You'll probably encounter 'faux guides' outside, willing to show you around - again a tip will be expected, even if they don't explain much of use.
Through a narrow passageway, you enter a garden, with rose trees and shrubs, enclosed by red walls. Amongst the grass you can see small tombs.
The Arabic Saadian Dynasty ruled for a relatively short period during the 16th - 17th Century, their popularity rose after removing the Portuguese from their occupation of the Moroccan coastline, and later forming alliances with Spain.
The necropolis was commenced in 1591, (although the first Saadian prince was buried here in 1577) by Sultan Ahmed al-Mansour, to provide a resting place for his family, successors, and respected staff members.
After the collapse of the Saadian Dynasty, during Moulay Ismails 'reign of terror', buildings such as the Palais el Badi were ransacked but the Tombs escaped desecration, possibly due to his superstition that the dead would come back to haunt him!
Instead, the necropolis was sealed, with only a small area being left open. (Sultan Moulay Yazid 'The Crazy' was buried here in 1792.)
During French Protectorate of Marrakesh in the early 20th C. An ariel survey by General Hubert Lyautey, revealed the site of the tombs. An avid enthusiast of Moroccan history, he set about constructing a passageway into the tombs (The original entrance was through the Kasbah mosque, and therefore forbidden to non-muslims) and restoration of the tombs.
The Saadian tombs were opened to the public in 1917.
Address: Off Rue de la kasbah
Directions: North West Kasbah, opposite the Kasbah Mosque. Look for the souvenir shop in the corner, and the sign pointing to Tombeaux des Saadians.
Easiest point of entry is probably through Bab Agnanaou, then turn left.
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