Once the imperial city of Morocco, Marrakech is a city filled with historical landmarks and structures that depict the breathtaking history of the city. With the picturesque Atlas Mountains as its backdrop, Marrakech welcomes thousands of visitors each year, who come to the city to explore its magnificent landscapes and discover the attractions that mostly only the locals know about. Some monuments are passed by without travelers even realizing their significance. One of the city’s unusual and spectacular attractions is the Chrob ou Chouf Fountain.
The Chrob ou Chouf Fountain, or Shrob ou Shouf Fountain as it is sometimes spelt, is located near to the well known Ben Youssef Mosque, and cannot be missed as it is situated just before Bab Taghzout Street. Ahmed El Monsour was the ruler of Morocco during the years 1587 to 1603, and it was during his reign that the fountain was commissioned. It was constructed to provide travelers and locals with fresh water and was positioned strategically to be a source of water close to the Sahara Valley. Water to the fountain was provided by underground drains, running along the same lines that serviced the mosques. Its construction can be viewed as a work of art, with an awning carved from cedar providing the frontage with weather protection and the fountain itself being built in breathtaking dimensions. A honeycomb carved from wood is the crowning glory of the fountain, and the inscriptions in the fountain’s base were engraved in cursive.
The inscription on the Chrob ou Chouf Fountain was done in Moroccan Arabic, and can be translated as either “Drink and Admire”, or “Drink and Look”. Due to this wonderful Saadian monument being as beautiful as it is historical, it was listed by UNESCO in 1985, confirming its cultural importance and making visitors aware of its noteworthiness. Duchess Von Habsbourgh, who is the Art Restoration of Cultural Heritage president, was present on the 25th of September 2000 when the restoration work of the fountain was inaugurated. As the most vital fountain in the entire medina, the Chrob ou Chouf Fountain is a recommended attraction in Marrakech.