Marrakech Travel Guide

Etymology

The exact meaning of the name is debated. The probable origin of the name Marrakesh is from the Berber (Amazigh) words mur (n) akush (ⵎⵓⵔ ⵏ ⴰⴽⵓⵛ), which means "Land of God". According to historian Susan Searight, however, the town's name was first documented in an 11th-century manuscript in the Qarawiyyin library in Fez, where its meaning was given as "country of the sons of Kush". The word mur is used now in Berber mostly in the feminine form tamurt. The same word "mur" appears in Mauretania, the North African kingdom from antiquity, although the link remains controversial as this name possibly originates from μαύρος mavros, the ancient Greek word for black. The common English spelling is "Marrakesh", although "Marrakech" (the French spelling) is also widely used. The name is spelled Mṛṛakc in the Berber Latin alphabet, Marraquech in Spanish, and "Mer-reksh" in Moroccan Arabic.

From medieval times until around the beginning of the 20th century, the entire country of Morocco was known in English and other European literature as the "Kingdom of Marrakesh", as the kingdom's historic capital city was often Marrakesh. The name for Morocco is still "Marrakech" to this day in Persian and Urdu (مراكش) as well as many other South Asian languages. Various European names for Morocco (Marruecos, Marrocos, Maroc, Marokko, etc.) are directly derived from the Berber word Murakush. Conversely, the city itself was in earlier times simply called Marocco City (or similar) by travelers from abroad. The name of the city and the country diverged after the Treaty of Fez made Morocco a French protectorate, but the old interchangeable usage lasted widely until about the interregnum of Mohammed Ben Aarafa (1953-1955). The latter episode set in motion the country's return to independence, when Morocco officially became al-Mamlaka al-Maġribiyya (المملكة المغربية) ("The Maghreb Kingdom"), its name no longer referring to the city of Marrakesh. Marrakesh is known by a variety of nicknames, including the "Red City", the "Ochre City" and "the Daughter of the Desert", and has been the focus of poetic analogies such as one comparing the city to "a drum that beats an African identity into the complex soul of Morocco."


source: Wikipedia

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Hotels in Marrakech (315 Hotels) See All Marrakech Hotels

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