Ancient gates of Bab Agnaou in Marrakech

Bab Agnaou in Marrakech
Photo by Matt Mark

For hundreds of years, visitors to one of Morocco’s most magical cities, Marrakech, have entered through its magnificent gates.  Bab Agnaou is one of 19 gates into the ancient city or medina of Marrakech and it’s one of the most stunning, intact, displays of the grandeur of the Moroccan royal dynasty.

There’s nothing like getting kicked off the airport bus and finding yourself at this gate – the entrance to the very, very exotic world of Morocco.  Beyond its gates, you’ll find street vendors, old ladies making fresh crepes on the street, butchers with meat hanging to be sold, specialty honey-covered desserts behind glass cases, tajines of all sizes and colours for sale, tons of curious locals, and cars and motorbikes weaving their way through the packed pedestrian streets.  

Bab Agnaou was built in the 12th century during the reign of the Almohad dynasty.  It gives access to the southern part of the Marrakech medina, but is especially significant because it gives access to El Badi Palace, ruins of a great palace built in the 16th century with 360 rooms and gold imported from Sudan; the stunning El Mansour mosque where you can hear prayers throughout the day; and the Saadian Tombs, the richly adorned resting place of the Saadi Dynasty made of Italian marble and known for its famous 12-columned room, re-discovered only recently in 1917.  The gate looks out towards the Marrakech Royal Palace, another popular visitor’s destination in Marrakech.

For accommodations near Bab Agnaou, try La Sultana Marrakech.

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