About The Saadian Tombs
The Saadian Tombs in Marrakesh are the final resting places of the around sixty of the rulers and members of the Saadi Dynasty including Sultan Ahmed El Mansour (the sixth sultan of the dynasty) and his family.
This dynasty ruled the region from the mid-sixteenth to the late seventeenth century and the tombs date back to this period, the earliest thought to have been established in 1557.
The good state of preservation of the Saadian Tombs may be attributable to the fact that they were sealed off by the sultan Moulay Ismail. At the time, Ismail was destroying architectural gems such as the Badi Palace, but some speculate that, when it came to the Saadian Tombs, his superstition got the better of him and he decided to hide rather than demolish them. They were only discovered in 1917, when they were uncovered by accident.
Visitors to the Saadian Tombs can view the tombs amidst the colourful backdrop of the two mausoleums which house them. One of the most interesting rooms is the beautifully decorated Hall of the Twelve Columns.
A visit to the Saadian Tombs can be quite a clinical experience, but only because the large number of tourists overwhelm this small site and mean that a visit might seem rushed, usually lasting around twenty minutes or so.