Bab Aghmat
باب أغمات
Bab Aghmat in the early 20th century
General information
Typecity gate
Architectural styleAlmoravid, Moorish, Moroccan
LocationMarrakesh, Morocco
Coordinates31°37′25.2″N 7°58′29.4″W / 31.623667°N 7.974833°W / 31.623667; -7.974833Coordinates: 31°37′25.2″N 7°58′29.4″W / 31.623667°N 7.974833°W / 31.623667; -7.974833
Completedcirca 1126

Bab Aghmat (Arabic: باب أغمات, lit.'gate of Aghmat') is the main southeastern gate of the medina (historic walled city) of Marrakesh, Morocco.

Description

The gate originally dates back to around 1126 when the Almoravid ruler Ali ibn Yusuf built the first walls of the city, but it has been modified since this time.[1] It was named after Aghmat, the early capital of the Almoravids before Marrakesh, which lay in this direction (i.e. to the south/southeast). The gate may have also been called Bab Yintan, though this is uncertain and this name may have referred to another nearby gate which has since disappeared.[1][2]

Like other Almoravid gates of the city, it has been significantly modified since its initial construction. Originally, it most likely consisted of a bent passage which effected a full 180-degree turn, forming a symmetrical structure around the axis of the wall: one entered from the west through a bastion on the outer side of the city wall, passing through a roofed vestibule, then exited westwards from the bastion on the inner side of the wall, passing through an open-air court.[1][3] In a much later period a walled courtyard with a very different construction style was added on the outer end of the gate, forcing traffic to effect one more 180-degree turn (though in recent times the northern wall of this courtyard has been knocked down to allow a more direct passage).[1] A staircase in the northeastern corner of the gatehouse leads to the roof.[1]

A major cemetery, the Bab Aghmat Cemetery, occupies a wide area just outside the gate and is also flanked to the west by the Jewish cemetery of the city's Mellah.[4] Also near the gate and the cemetery is the Mausoleum of Sidi Yusuf ibn Ali, one of the Seven Saints of Marrakesh.[2][3]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Allain, Charles; Deverdun, Gaston (1957). "Les portes anciennes de Marrakech". Hespéris. 44: 85–126.
  2. ^ a b Deverdun, Gaston (1959). Marrakech: Des origines à 1912. Rabat: Éditions Techniques Nord-Africaines.
  3. ^ a b Wilbaux, Quentin (2001). La médina de Marrakech: Formation des espaces urbains d'une ancienne capitale du Maroc. Paris: L'Harmattan. ISBN 2747523888.
  4. ^ Gottreich, Emily (2007). The Mellah of Marrakesh: Jewish and Muslim Space in Morocco's Red City. Indiana University Press. pp. 116–118.