New York - Considered one of the top destinations for travelers worldwide, Marrakech is associated with rich culture, artistry, entertainment, great nightlife, amazing cuisine, warm hospitality, and some of the most iconic locations in Morocco.
New York – Considered one of the top destinations for travelers worldwide, Marrakech is associated with rich culture, artistry, entertainment, great nightlife, amazing cuisine, warm hospitality, and some of the most iconic locations in Morocco.
The 1948 documentary “Marrakech – Desert Paradise” presented by Pathé Pictures depicted the “Red City” in its mid-20th century.
Situated in the foot hills of the Atlas Mountains “the land of God”, Marrakech, is an imperial city founded by the Berber Almoravids dynasty in 1062.
Undoubtedly, the most famous town in southern Morocco, the “Ochre City” was once a desert paradise before it became the favorite destination for the rich and famous, as it is known today.
The documentary reflects the diversity of Marrakech’s expression of Berber, Moorish, Middle Eastern, with Mediterranean and Western Asian influences.
As Winston Churchill, the legendary British politician enjoyed his stays in the emblematic Mamounia Hotel, many rejoiced in the lifestyle of the 1948 “Pearl of the South”.
Marrakech was the oasis of the 20th century. A blend of historically conservative traditions depicted in the lives of its residents, and the modernity and influence of European visitors.
Yet, the real spirit of the city in 1948 was at the heart of the medina. The captivating documentary recounts the lifestyle of the Moroccan city, with its people dressed in traditional djellaba and women who were only recognizable by their full-cover veils.
Those that saw the Marrakech of the 1940s enjoyed the unique tastes of authentic Moroccan spices, full Muslim garb, opium pipes, where street shopping at the marketplace was the norm.
Visitors traveled back in time to a magical location, where time went by ever so slowly and Moroccan mint tea was considered a luxury.
Snake charmers, dancers, drummers and comedians entertained the crowds. Hundreds of people walked the busy streets of the ‘Orange’ and ‘Grey’ markets.
However, “the true magnificence of Marrakech is its people. Here you find the rugged Arab of the Sahara… Standing beside him, you may find the gentle-featured southern Berber or the dark-skinned half Negro from the Niger valley,” the narrator said, highlighting its uniqueness.
A 900-year difference in lifestyles may be found within the city’s borders. Winston Churchill once said that Marrakech was “the most beautiful place on Earth.”
Many have found it to be true, “He who once sees Marrakech must always return,” the saying goes.