Bab Ksiba


Bab Ksiba (Arabic: باب القصيبة‎, Bāb al-Quṣayyabah) is one of the nineteen gates of Marrakech. It was built in the 12th century in the time of the Almohad dynasty.

The name Ksiba, (pronounced Lak- siba), in Berber refers to the Kasbah district of the Medina, where this gateway is located. Kasbah means Fortress where Ksiba means literally “Little-Fort”.

To the left of Bab Ksiba stands an ancient Eucalyptus tree.

The function of the Bab Ksiba gate provides access to the southern end of the Kasbah district of the Medina. The first citadel of the Sultans of Morocco.

This makes obvious sense when one considers the big gate to the Kasbah found at the Kasbah districts northern end is Bab Agnaou.

Bab Ksiba and Bab Agnaou gives entrance to the Royal Kasbah in the southern part of the medina of Marrakech a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a favourite location for Tourist Accommodation within the Medina. The Kasbah, built by the Almohad sultan Yaqub al-Mansour, is the site of El Mansouria (the kasbah mosque), the El Badi Palace, Agdal Gardens, the Saadian Tombs the Royal Palace and the current King’s New Palace.

Bab_Ksiba_walk_220Bab Ksiba is a pretty little entrance into the southern end of the Kasbah.

Bab Kasiba ( pronounced Bab Lak-siba ) offers the wary traveller advantages.

Firstly… every Taxi driver in Marrakech knows where it is. If you have no easy form of communication, French, Berber or otherwise, by simply sitting in a taxi and saying “Bab Lak-siba” you can be assured of a correct destination.

Secondly… Apart from a “cigarette seller” lazing under the shade, provided by a giant Eucalyptus Tree, there are no hawkers. Unless, that is, you want to purchase a single cigarette or make the vendors day, and go the whole hog, buying a packet..

Thirdly… and most importantly, not only is it pretty much at the end of a 1 mile road that leads to Marrakech International Airport. Using this destination as a “drop off” point and rendezvous, for a Riad assistant to act as escort, then you won’t be lost amongst a crowd of European tourists. (Who all look the same !!)

We tested Bab Ksiba, as a rendezvous point during our Riad hunting search

Fiona elected to test her theory with and achieved instant success.

My wife stayed in the company of the cigarette seller and sent me off to find a local chap, who had not seen Fiona before, to see if he could locate her and guide her back to the Riad where we were staying.

This time…. I wasted a while before finding and instructing a local chap, as this time it was Fiona’s solution and not mine.
I wanted, at least, a Pyrrhic Victory !

Sadly she returned with the local chap within minutes of my instruction and continues to bask in her glory.

“The mission was now to find a suitable Riad as close to the pretty Bab Ksiba as we could……”