Cultural Space of Djamaa el-Fna Square
el-Fna Square is situated near the medina of Marrakesh, included
on the UNESCO World Heritage List. A cultural crossroads, local
people as well as visitors use it as a central meeting place.
They come for entertainment and trading - even medical treatment.
Here they find storytelling, acrobatics, musical recitals, comic
acts and stunts, dancing, animal shows, snake-charming, glass
and fire-eating. The square also hosts fortune-telling,
astrology, numerology, one-hole miniature golf, and preaching.
Even dental, traditional herb medicine and henna tattoo
businesses are established here. Trading includes fruit, bread,
water-carrying and the rental of lanterns during the dark
el-Fna Square dates back to the foundation of Marrakesh in
1070-1071, and since then has been the symbol of the city.
Travellers have long extolled its cosmopolitanism and vibrancy.
It has been protected by law since the 1920s.
growth and modernization of Marrakesh increase the vulnerability
of Djamaa el-Fna Square. Traffic, pollution, city development
plans and tourism are taking their toll.
square aims to be a model of town planning that gives priority
to people, culture, encounter and exchange. The 10-year action
plan will identify major problems and link together institutions
involved in preserving the square. Practitioners' rights will be
protected and scientific inventories established. A National
Scientific Institute of Oral Heritage will be created to study
the history of Djamaa el-Fna Square.