Djemaa el-Fna Tavel Guide

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  • Djemaa el-Fna Tavel Guide

Djemaa el-Fna is edged along one side by the Marrakesh souk, a traditional North African market catering both for the common daily needs of the locals, and for the tourist trade. On other sides are hotels and gardens and cafe terraces, and narrow streets lead into the alleys of the medina quarter. Unesco designated it a World Heritage site, but this lopsided square isn’t a monument, it’s mayhem. Snake charmers, acrobats and potion peddlers are only the opening acts. At sunset, 100 chefs and their portable grills reignite the world’s fiercest barbecue competition. Amid swirls of kebab smoke, the performers arrive. At the south-west end are cross-dressing belly dancers and woefully amateur boxers;in the north-east corner are animated storytellers and starry-eyed astrologers;between the two are Berber jam sessions, unwinnable carnival games and the odd dentist. Halqa has taken place nightly here for 1000 years, yet the show never gets old.