The Saadian Tombs: Witnesses of a Great Civilization

Saadian tombs are the last monuments of the Saadian era. Sultan Moulay Ismaïl totally destroyed the buildings of that period, with the exception of the mausoleum containing the tombs, which he enclosed with a large wall to prevent people from seeing it. It was only rediscovered during the Protectorate period, before the colonizer considered it a historical monument in 1917 and restored it in 1920.

Located in the Kasbah district of Marrakech, the mausoleum is now considered one of the most important tourist and historical sites in the ochre city. It includes sixty tombs of the Saadian Sultan dynasty, who ruled Morocco from 1554 to 1659, and who, according to historians, are descendants of Halima Saadia, the nurse of the Prophet Muhammad.

The mausoleum was founded in 1557 by Saadian Sultan Abdallah Al Ghaleb, who buried his father, Sultan Muhammad Sheikh, founder of the State, there. The mausoleum was enlarged under the reign of Sultan Ahmed Al-Mansur Addahbi, who buried his father and mother, as well as his children and himself.

Despite years of neglect, the sanctuary remained a testament to the greatness of a past civilization. This is evident in its design and construction according to Andalusian Islamic architecture, as well as in the use of high quality building materials, made of gypsum, ceramics, marble and carved wood.

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