The Saadian Tombs

Several mausoleums and rooms, resting place of the dead of the El Mansour family, are spread out in the middle of flowery gardens. Decorated with marble and colored domes, this place is a must from a historical point of view.

It is in the XVIth century that this necropolis, containing the Saadian tombs, was built by Ahmed known as “The Golden” on the very place of the remains of his ancestors. The latter wanted a beautiful burial place for his mother. This building was then used as a “cemetery” for the whole family and the most faithful servants or soldiers.
Indeed, Moulay Isma-l, when he came to power, wanted to erase all that related to his predecessors and built an enclosure all around the necropolis (he did not dare to raze the holy place) so that one could access it only from the nearby mosque. And then everything was forgotten until 1917. There, the studies of the Historical Monuments have looked into this heritage in order to open it to tourists. As non-Muslims are not allowed to enter the mosques, a gallery was made to access the tombs directly.

You will discover the garden where the soldiers are buried and where palm trees, roses and bougainvillea are in perfect harmony.
Then you will be able to access the two mausoleums, jewel of the Saadian architecture. In the first mausoleum, there are three rooms. In the first one, there is the prayer pulpit and the tomb of one of the sultans. The aisles are separated by marble columns. In the central hall, the bodies of several Saadian sultans (including Ahmed El Mansour) as well as other princes are found.

Thus, Ahmed El Mansour, his successors, his children (in all more than 60 members of this dynasty) still rest in this admirable place which has lost nothing in magnificence since its construction. The decoration is magnificent with Carrara marble, cedar wood (the dome), gilding, zelliges (at the bottom of the walls), lace sculptures on plaster in good condition (at the top of the walls); in short, a masterpiece of Hipano-Moorish art as can be seen in many buildings of Marrakech. The third room is that of the women, the concubines and the children; it is also richly decorated (very beautiful stalactites of carved wood) but more obscure.

In the second mausoleum, less sumptuous, is the mother of Sultan Ahmed “the Golden” as well as the wives of other Saadian sultans. This vestige deserves your visit even if it is less impressive than the palaces of the city.


How to get to the tombs

Open every day from 8:30 am to 11:45 am and from 2:30 pm to 5:45 pm. Entrance fee: 10 dirhams
Rue de La Kasbah, Marrakesh 40000, Morocco