Juan Goytisolo

Said the composer and American writer Paul Bowles to without the Jemaa el Fna square, Marrakesh would be a city like any other. But it is not, it is not a city like any other. The plaza, as well as being the geographical, social, cultural, economic and emotional center of the city, is an absolutely unique place in the world. Its vibrant, heterogeneous atmosphere, the idiosyncrasies of their shows and their cultural Miscellany, ethnic and social left an indelible mark on each of its visitors. The square Jemaa el Fna square, dating from the 11th century, is the main square of Marrakesh and the most famous place of the ochre city. It is located a few meters from the Minaret of the Koutoubia, built by the Almohads in the 12th century and that it served as the model for the Giralda of Seville, and each year welcomes more than one million tourists, in addition to the countless and permanent assistants marraquechis.

There are several hypotheses about the name of the square. The word djemaa means mosque in Arabic, but refers also to any place of Assembly and Congregation. However, the fna term is somewhat more mysterious, because it refers to the idea of nothingness and death. In this sense, the two main philological theories point to two possible translations: the first would refer to a now-defunct Almoravid mosque and mean place of the destroyed mosque; the other, rather more macabre, translated by Assembly of the dead, in reference to executions and cutthroat that were exhibited there. Jemaa el Fna square is one of the public squares larger and more animated in the world, besides being, as points the writer Juan Goytisolo in his article the thousand and one nights of Xemaa el Fna square, the only place on the planet in that every day of the year musicians, storytellers, dancers, minstrels and bards act before a large crowd and that endlessly renews itself.

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