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Jemaa el Fna

Jemaa el Fna

Jemaa el Fna

Jemaa el Fna (Marrakesh) — Jemaa el Fna square (a.k.a. Place of the Dead) is the center of medina life both day and night as a gathering place and unofficial stage for street theatre. It is also Marrakesh’s main square. For more than a millennium, the Jemaa el Fna’s daily bill has featured acrobats, henna tattoo artists, storytellers, belly dancers, musicians, snake charmers and potion sellers. Mint sellers and carts selling dried fruit and fresh orange juice make way at dusk for 100 makeshift barbecue restaurants and troupes of entertainers vying for attention.

Visitors should take plenty of loose change, as the performers do expect a couple of Dirhams worth of appreciation and some of the more colorful characters will pose for a photo for a small charge. That said, this is not a spectacle just for tourists; the crowd is mostly Moroccan. Jemaa el Fna is surrounded by cafés and restaurants, perfect places to escape the hustle and observe the proceedings with a mint tea, coffee or light meal.