Saadian tombs

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Marrakech, Morocco

Saadian tombs Marrakech Reviews

HelenP HelenP
52 reviews
Step Back in Time in Marrakech Feb 28, 2015
The Saadian Tombs date back to the time of the Sultan Ahmed al-Mansur (1578 - 1603) Three intricately carved and decorated mausolems house the graves of the sultan and his family. Outside is a lovely garden with roses and orange trees which contains the graves of soldiers and servants.

This beautiful little place is located right in the center of a residential district and is entered via a tiny passageway. It feels as you step inside like you are entering a secret garden. And, indeed, in many ways you are because it was hidden from the world for many years.

It is believed that the tombs were sealed off at the command of Sultan Moulay Ismail(1672-1727). He ordered the destruction of the Badi Palace and other architectural gems in the city, but is said to have spared the tombs due to superstition about disturbing the dead. They were only re-discovered by chance in 1917.

The tombs are extremely well preserved. Their mosaic work and carvings are still in beautiful condition and give an idea of what the decoration would have been like in the now forlorn Badi Palace. Indeed if you visit the palace you will see similar mosaics to that of the tombs, though these will be only in the form of broken tiles here and there.

The tombs are quite small, and the passageway into them just the breadth of one person, so it can become very busy if a tour group arrives. I suggest that you therefore plan to visit either early in the morning or later in the day. But if you have to visit at peak hours, then leave your self enough time to wait for the crowds to leave (tour groups usually only spend about 20-30 minutes here).
The Royal Mausoleum
Graves of servants and soldiers
Marble inscription
3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
HelenP says:
Yes they do bill but the tour groups need to maximize money.
Posted on: Feb 28, 2015
HelenP says:
I agree, but tour groups are about money and getting visitors through ad quickly as possible. That is why I always travel independently!
Posted on: Feb 28, 2015
world-traveller123 says:
wow so well written
Posted on: Feb 28, 2015
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wagslikeadog wagslike…
67 reviews
Very ornate and peaceful, but you won't stay long. Feb 27, 2011
The Saadian Tombs are a collection of tombs of the long-gone, former rulers of Morocco: The Saadian's. They're about a 10 minute walk south of La Place along the medina's walls - Very close to the popular 'Bains de Marrakech' spa and the imposing Bab Agnaou city gate.

The entrance fee to the tombs is very cheap and it is a popular spot with tourists. The marble-work of the larger, indoor tombs are really impressive. There are more typical in-ground burial markers too. There are trees, benches and it's a bit of a tranquil spot compared to the chaos of the medina just outside.

Expect there to be some lines around the best photo-taking spots, particularly if a bus tour group is visiting at the same time.

You'll take some pictures, say, "Oooh...That's nice" and then move on. All told, one could probably plan for 30 to 45 minutes here, and have seen everything that you need to see. It's still worthy of a look on a 1st visit to the city.
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Vipin Vipin
691 reviews
A hidden gem Nov 23, 2010
The tombs date back from the Saadi dynasty, a collection of rulers from the seventeenth century. Although they were just recently rediscovered within the last hundred years or so, they have been wonderfully restored and must serve as one on the top five tourist sites in Marrakesh.

While the graves are solemnly simple, the monuments above them are simply exceptional. For example, the columns are intricately carved and some areas have wonderful ceilings which were crafted from cedar wood. There are small gardens in the site too, which makes the viewing more pleasurable and relaxing.

The entrance price is around 10-20 dirhams, and so, the expense shouldn’t be a concern for tourists of any budget. The location can be a little tricky to find, so do keep to your map well and ask for directions if required from someone. My best tip would be too look out for groups of tourists, who are probably frequenting the site and are hovering nearby at most times of the day.

Intricate, amazing and timeless, the Saadian tombs are a lovely way to spend some time in Marrakesh I highly recommend it.
3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
davidx davidx
564 reviews
Long lost -well worth finding! Nov 13, 2007
The Saadian tombs date from the seventeenth century and were lost for most of the time up to 1917. I have given 5 overall and I think the artistry merits the grading but this will not occupy as much time as the palaces or the Madrasa - it is only a small area.

Idiotically I left my camera at the riad, where I was staying, before setting out on a taxi tour of the palaces and gardens. I walked to hte palaces that afternon and took plenty but it was too hot and I was afr too tired to do more. However you can see a lot on

SAVE at least 10 EUROS - if you are going to Marrakech. In any normal circumstances the two palaces and these tombs are easily walkable and the only extra you can have for the trip price are the Majorelle gardens, that can easily be reached on a bus.

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