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Marrakech: Jemaa El-Fna Photo Tour

The central square of Marrakech Jemaa El-Fna is one of the best places to see Morocco as it is and meet the Moroccans as they are.

Times change but the show on this old square goes on. The Moroccans still keep to their old traditions and cultural heritage which made UNESCO take Jemaa el-Fna on their World Heritage list.   

Evening food stall on UNESCO listed Jemaa el-Fna

Moroccan culinary traditions in Jemaa el-Fna

Jemaa el-Fna is the center and the symbol of Marrakech. A chaotic place that every visitor wants to see.

A Short History of Jemaa el-Fna

What most tourists don’t think about is gruesome past of Jemaa el-Fna. The square originally was a place for executions and  the heads of criminals were hanging here on spikes. That’s what the square’s name also tells, Assembly of the Dead.

I’m happy for not understanding the Moroccan language. If I did I would never come to see this square.

Jemaa el-Fna: watching shows and meeting friends

Jemaa el-Fna square, Marrakech: watching shows and meeting friends

The focus of Jemaa el-Fna then changed and the square became a marketplace and an open are dining place Marketplace at daytime and shows and dining at nights. The place in Marrakech where they all comes, share their stories, dine and watch showmen with family and friends.

UNESCO Listed Jemaa el-Fna

Preparing Moroccan food, Jemaa el-Fna

Preparing Moroccan food, Jemaa el-Fna

Snake charmers, monkey trainers, folk musicians, fortune tellers, tooth pullers – and Moroccan food. Such variety of shows going on that there was a reason for UNESCO to take Jemaa el-Fna on their list.

That was for the rich cultural heritage and the ways it’s expressed on the square: music, dance, food, rituals and mythologies. By taking objects on their list UNESCO wants to encourage communities to preserve their heritage.

The specific list where Jemaa el-Fna is included is called Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity and this list contains a long row of other remarkable cultural environments as well. You can find the whole list on the UNESCO website.

Jemaa el-Fna on the Map

 

The map shows you the irregular square of Jemaa el-Fna in the old town of Marrakech.

On the north side of the square are the bazaars, the souks that are worth a visit as well. And at the opposite end is the Koutobia Mosque, a Marrakech landmark and the highest building in the pink desert city.

Jemaa el-Fna

As you enter the square these horse carriage men will approach you and offer you a ride. But you won’t need that on the square. But you can take a horse tour afterwards if you want to see the city.

Man, horse and carriage, Jemaa el-Fna

A man with his horse and carriage, backed by Koutobia mosque

Jemaa el-Fna Photo Tour

Locals walking on Jemaa el-Fna, Marrakech

Locals on a walk on the UNESCO listed square in Marrakech

Koutobia Mosque

Koutobia mosque, the highest building of Marrakech. If you find the mosque you will find Jemaa el-Fna.

Man and truck, Jemaa el-Fna

The square is in a walking zone but there are cars, bikes, trucks, carriages, donkeys and horses.

Women shopping on Jemaa el-Fna

Local women shopping on Marrakech central square

One of the Jemaa el-Fna stalls

Wonder what this stall sells?

Sellers on the Jemaa el-Fna square

These men are selling healing products. 

Horse and carriage, Jemaa el-Fna

A horse and carriage on the central square of Marrakech

Bike on the Jemaa el-Fna square

A bike with a full load

Jemaa el-Fna central square, Marrakech

More bikes, pink buildings and a small mosque

Locals on the Jemaa el-Fna square

A Marrakech couple walking on the square

Jemaa el-Fna marketplace, Marrakech

Life on the square

African seller on the Jemaa el-Fna square

A lonely salesman and some rubbish on the ground

Street cleaner, Jemaa el-Fna

Cleaning the square from the rubbish 

Man and his phone crossing Jemaa el-Fna

Man and his phone crossing Jemaa el-Fna

Jemaa el-Fna fruit stall

Jemaa el-Fna as a marketplace: fruit stall

Jemaa el-Fna date stall

Next door I found this date and nut stall

Jemaa el-Fna date stall

Moroccan dates and dried fruits at display

Jemaa el-Fna date seller

Everything perfectly organized

Jemaa el-Fna pomegranate seller

Like here, fruits in neat piles.

Jemaa el-Fna Evening

Afternoon sun on Jemaa el-Fna

Afternoon sun in Marrakech

Evening food stalls, Jemaa el-Fna

Food stalls opening at dusk

Preparing Moroccan food on Jemaa el-Fna

All stalls start preparing Moroccan food

Preparing couscous, Jemaa el-Fna

Is my couscous ready to be served?

Preparing Moroccan couscous on Jemaa el-Fna

Just perfect. Hot and tasty.

Selling Moroccan meals in Jemaa el-Fna

Waiting for more clients

Evening in Jemaa el-Fna, Marrakech

Fruit sellers stay here all day long.

Dates and dried fruits on Jemaa el-Fna

Want some dates and dried fruits for dessert?

Evening fruit stalls, Jemaa el-Fna

Buying some fresh fruit in Jemaa el-Fna

Food stall on UNESCO listed Jemaa el-Fna, Marrakech

Locals having a discussion on the UNESCO listed square

Food stall on UNESCO listed Jemaa el-Fna, Marrakech

Food stall in the UNESCO listed Jemaa el-Fna, Marrakech

Lanterns on UNESCO listed Jemaa el-Fna

Lanterns, mosque and a square side restaurant

UNESCO listed Jemaa el-Fna, Marrakech

Jemaa el-Fna, Marrakech

Restaurant Le Salama, Jemaa el-Fna, Marrakech

Restaurant Le Salama just off the square, offering belly-dance shows

 

More on Jemaa el-Fna and the Area

So this was my Jemaa el-Fna photo tour, hope you liked the tour. For more photos on Jemaa el-Fna check out my post The Top Things to Do in Marrakech.

And for the souks north of the square check out my post Getting Lost in the Souks of Marrakech.

Jemaa el-Fna snake charmer

Jemaa el-Fna snake charmers at work

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