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  • Pierre @ Riad Dar Chacha

Place Jemaa El Fna

Updated: Mar 19

Jema En Fna is the beating heart of Marrakech: everybody goes to Jemaa El Fna, everyone will meet at Jemaa El Fna, everybody knows the Snake Charmers, the story tellers, the acrobats... but what is its checkered past??

Marrakech Jema El Fna Square Place Jema El Fna

Credits: Miltiadis Fragkidis @ Unsplash

History of the legendary Place Jemaa El Fna in Marrakesh:

In the heart of magical Marrakech, the Place Jemaa El Fna came into being between the 12th century and the end of the 14th century, initially known as the "Place des Trépassés" i.e. the Square of the Deceased. This historic square was then the scene of judgements and sentences, where crucial legal decisions were taken. It was here that punishments such as hanging and beheading were carried out, and it was also the site of impressive military parades.

The 17th century marked a turning point, as a devastating plague epidemic struck part of the population, even taking the life of Sultan Ahmed el-Mansour who built the Badi Palace.

Ahmed Al Mansour - Saadian Dynasty

As a tribute to the mosque that would never see the light of day as a result of these dark events, the square was renamed "Jemaâ el Fna".

Since then, this emblematic square has become a thriving centre of commercial activity. Its strategic position, linking the cities of the West and the majestic Atlas Mountains, makes it an essential crossroads for trade.

In recognition of its cultural and historical importance, UNESCO proclaimed it an Intangible Cultural Heritage Site in 2008, preserving this precious jewel for future generations. Come and experience the vibrant history of Jemaa El Fna Square, where the past meets the present in a whirlwind of captivating activities!

What can you do on Jemaa El Fna?

Welcome to the vibrant & exciting Place Jemaa El Fna, a veritable Court of Miracles located at the enchanting gateway to the souks of Marrakesh, a stone's throw from the prestigious Koutoubia Mosque and the Royal Palace.

It is one of Morocco's must-see traditional and historical tourist attractions, a lively, bustling jewel that comes alive from dusk to dawn, offering an unforgettable experience.

La Koutoubia Jema El Fna

Every year, more than a million visitors are drawn to this legendary square, where more than 10,000 guests are pampered every day. During the day, the square comes alive with a host of fairground entertainers, hawkers and street performers who dazzle you with their

Crédits: Selina Bubendorfer @ Unsplash

talents, from fire-eaters to henna tattoo artists, monkey showers to snake charmers, and even fortune tellers, creating a fascinating spectacle.

Snake charmers on Jema El Fna Marrakech Marrakesh

In the stairwell of Dar Yaoumi, a riad in our collection of Riads in Marrakech, we have a collection of postcards dating from the early 20th century featuring all those performers and characters from the Jema El Fna. It will surprise you to see that de facto those traditions are the same today 100 years later.... with a notable difference that the street perfomers are now all equipped with mobile phones but their costumes, theirs ancestral traditions are being carried forward for the pleasure of the tourists but also Moroccans alike.

Place Jema El Fna at night

As night falls, a whole new magical atmosphere is revealed, with a myriad of delicious food stalls to satisfy every palate. Jemaa El Fna Square is a place where nightlife flourishes, offering a variety of pleasures for the senses.

Renowned writers such as Elias Canetti, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1981, have been fascinated by the halqa. Come and enjoy the extraordinary experience of Jemaa El Fna Square, where history, culture and art combine in a spellbinding symphony to awaken all your senses.

Let yourself be swept away by the authenticity of the "halqa", that spellbinding circle of spectators gathered

Credits: Mourad Saadi @ Unsplash

around talented storytellers who transport you into fascinating worlds. You'll discover incredible acrobats, captivating storytellers, lively dancers accompanied by talented musicians, and even popular comedies, sometimes tinged with burlesque. This tradition dates back to the 17th century and has left an indelible mark on the cultural history of this place, contributing to its recognition as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

📍 where to find Place Jemaa El Fna : click here for location


Our Riad Dar Chacha, just a few steps from Jemaa El Fna square:

Riad Dar Chacha courtyard

Discover the charm of Marrakesh's old Medina at Riad Dar Chacha, your gateway to an unforgettable experience at the heart of Moroccan culture. Nestled just a few steps from Jemaa El Fna square, our riad offers you the perfect stay, steeped in tradition and authentic flavours.

The Ochre City awaits you with its landscapes and cultural treasures around every corner. Explore the mysteries of this fascinating city that never ceases to captivate travellers. At Riad Dar Chacha, we invite you to live a unique adventure, where comfort, authenticity and traditional gastronomy come together to offer you an exceptional experience.

Whether you wish to sample the delicious dishes of Moroccan cuisine, soak up the vibrant atmosphere of Marrakesh, or simply relax in the exquisite surroundings of Riad Dar Chacha, we are here to make your stay unforgettable. So, are you ready to dive into the world of Marrakesh with us?

Book now and get ready for an incredible adventure!

© P&E Invest Maroc


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