Menara gardens

Marrakech, Morocco

Menara gardens


The Menara Gardens (Arabic: حدائق المنارة) are a historic public garden and orchard in Marrakech, Morocco. They were established in the 12th century (circa 1157) by the Almohad Caliphate ruler Abd al-Mu'min. Along with the Agdal Gardens and the historic walled city of Marrakesh, the gardens have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985. The gardens are laid out around a central water basin and reservoir, next to which is a pleasure pavilion dating in its current form from the 19th century. The reservoir and its pavilion, often framed in pictures against the background of the High Atlas Mountains to the south, are considered one of the iconic views and symbols of Marrakesh.: 282 

The origin of the name Menara for the gardens is not firmly established. The name's first appearance (as Sahrij al-Manāra) in historical sources is in 1579, during the Saadian period.: 196  The Arabic word menara (منارَة) variously means "minaret", "lighthouse", "lantern/beacon" or other elevated structures of the kind. It is often suggested that this refers to the two-story pavilion standing on the edge of the main reservoir. However, other historians, such as Gaston Deverdun, have suggested that the name could date from as far back as the Almohad period (long before the current pavilion's construction) and that it may be an allusion to the minaret of the Kutubiyya Mosque to the northeast, which was founded and begun under Abd al-Mu'min's reign and with which the gardens were more or less aligned.: 197–198 

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