Over the centuries, Marrakesh has been a desert oasis, military headquarters, a religious center and the playground of a sultan. It is one of Morocco’s great cities, but it began as a watering hole for the local Berber tribes. It was little more than a remote outpost before the Almoravid Berber leader Youssef bin Tashufin, cousin to the sultan, and his wife Zeinab founded what would become the city of Marrakesh in 1062 A.D.
Under Tashufin’s guidance, the city grew house by house. A mosque was established and, eventually, Marrakesh became the capital of the Almoravid Empire. Under the Almohads, Marrakesh developed into a luxurious Islamic city. It quickly became a center of commercial power. (more…)