Jemaa el-Fna, nobody knowns what the name means, is the heart of Marrakech. Nobody knowns how old it is, this open square poorly defined by surrounding buildings, a police station and a parking lot could easily be thousands of years old. Maybe it is older that the city itself. Maybe it is the reason for why Marrakech came into being.
A water seller passing a grocery seller and his mule.
When trying to recreate its true qualities, I find Jemaa al-Fna close to impossible to photograph. The place owes little of its fame to beauty, it is all about charm and atmosphere. There is almost always something going on here. Day and night. During most of the days, performers of every kind put up their shows, continuing until the evening when food trolleys force their way in and occupy half the area and all of the attention of the audience.
From the Jemaa there are several entries to the fantastic suuqs, and for anyone who needs to relax for a while, there are plenty of cafés around the Jemaa, where the main attraction is looking at the ongoing activities.
Expect to end up in this place, the Argana restaurant, which is the local proof of the general rule that a great location is the perfect excuse for poor food, tea and service.