Located on a fertile plain, Marrakesh is one of Morocco's four imperial cities. Founded in eleventh-century as the African capital of Almoravid dynasty; it was conquered by the Almohads in 1147, and then to Marinids, only to be taken by the French in 1912.
Marrakesh was founded in 1062 by Yusif Ben Tashfin, the first ruler of the Almoravid dynasty. His son, Ali, built the Ben Yussef Mosque and the city wall. The Almohads (1146-1268) made Marrakesh the capital of their empire and it was during this period that the Koutoubia was built.
The Marinids (1268-1520) neglected Marrakesh but they were succeeded by the Saadians (1520-1668) who endowed the city with the Badi' palace, the Ben-Yussef madrasa and the Saadian mausoleum.
From 1668 onwards, the Alawites, who resided in Marrakesh only occasionally, erected numerous buildings such as the palace of Bahia and Dar Si Saod at the end of the nineteenth-century. Later, the modern town was to develop three kilometres from the Medina, with its wide avenues bordered with palm-trees, orange-trees and jacarandas.
When first created in the 11th century, Marrakesh was a link on the caravan route that joins the south and the north of Morocco by way of the valleys up the Upper Atlas. Routes from the Tafilelt region and the Draa valley also converged on Marrakesh. Later, as the capital of the Almoravid and subsequently the Almohad empires (eleventh and thirteenth centuries), it became the seat of the unique authority ruling the entire Muslim West, including Andalusia.
At that time, Marrakesh was a large metropolis, housing probably up to 100,000 inhabitants.
Between the thirteenth and early sixteenth centuries, Marrakesh experienced a period of decline due to the displacement further east (in Algeria, Tunisia and particularly Egypt) of roads used to transport African gold, and the relocation of Morocco's capital to Fez. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, under the Saadians, Marrakesh was revived and flourished thanks to the gold trade, and the conquest of Tombouctou by the Saadians.
Located approximately 6 km southwest the Marrakech Medina, the Marrakech-Menara airport is among the busiest airports in the country. In general, it receives more than half as many passengers as the country's largest airport, Casablanca-Mohammed V, and more than double the number of passengers who pass through the next closest rival in Agadir.1 Though an airport has existed on this location since before World War II, it's capacity has considerably increased and services modernized since 2005. The renovation of Terminal 1 completed in June 2008, is fueled partly by solar energy. Terminal 2 was opened in 2005. Terminal 3 was opened in 2017.
Designed to be eco-friendly, the airport generates most of its own electricity through solar panels. It's double-skinned facade is designed to illuminate the interior and to assist in temperature control in this part of Morocco where temperatures can vary significantly in the course of a day. All artificial lighting is provided by LED. Rainwater is collected and used to water both external and internal green spaces, and plants chosen for these gardens are generally well adapted to minimal rainfall. "Airport Carbon Accreditation" of the International Council of Airports. The airport has also achieved Level 1 certification from the Airport Carbon Accreditation Program, one of only 7 airports in Africa to have done so.
The airport is remarkable for its modern, innovative use of technology to exploit and control natural light, while simultaneously evoking traditional design motifs. In 2018 Business Insider include the airport on a list of the most beautiful airports in the world.2