Marrakesh has stood for close to a thousand years as a city of history and culture and is possibly the most important of Morocco's four former imperial cities (cities that were built by Moroccan Berber empires). The fourth largest city in Morocco, it is located to the north of the foothills of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains. Now a major economic centre, it is home to mosques, palaces and gardens, a densely packed medina and mazelike alleys where thriving souks (marketplaces) sell traditional textiles, pottery and jewelry. A symbol of the city, and visible for miles, is the Moorish minaret of 12th-century Koutoubia Mosque.
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