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view from Marrakech I
Marrakesh or Marrakech (Berber: ⵎⵕⵕⴰⴽⵛ; Arabic: مراكش‎, Murrākuš; Berber: ⵎⵕⵕⴰⴽⵛ), is a major city in the northwest African nation of Morocco. It is the fourth largest city in the country after Casablanca, Fes and Rabat, and is the capital of the mid-southwestern economic region of Marrakesh-Tensift-El Haouz. Located to the north of the foothills of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains, by road Marrakesh is located 580 km (360 mi) southwest of Tangier, 327 km (203 mi) southwest of the Moroccan capital of Rabat, 239 km (149 mi) southwest of Casablanca, and 246 km (153 mi) northeast of Agadir.

Marrakesh is the most important of Morocco's four former imperial cities. The region was inhabited by Berber farmers from Neolithic times, but the actual city was founded in 1062 by Abu Bakr ibn Umar, chieftain and cousin of Almoravid king Yusuf ibn Tashfin. In the 12th century, the Almoravids built many madrasas (Koranic schools) and mosques in Marrakesh that bear Andalusian influences. The red walls of the city, built by Ali ibn Yusuf in 1122-1123, and various buildings constructed in red sandstone during this period, have given the city the nickname of the "Red City" or "Ochre City". Marrakesh grew rapidly and established itself as a cultural, religious, and trading centre for the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa

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Additional Photos by Costantino Topas (COSTANTINO) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4571 W: 20 N: 7001] (53013)
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