MARRAKECH: PART 3 - THE BAB AGNAOU
My guide informed me that Agnaou meant “baby goat” in the Berber language, but most sources claim it is named for the Gnaoua, a dark-skinned people of the south who served the sultan as feared soldier-slaves. Agnaou was probably not the original name, which was simply the Palace Gate or Bab al-Kasr. Built in the 12th century of a blue-gray stone in the now classic horseshoe design, it is ornamented across the top with carved excerpts from the Koran.
Some older accounts of the 19th century claim that the Sultans used to decorate the top of the gate with the heads of enemies. By Jade’s time, the French had taken occupancy in Morocco and, if any such practices had existed, they were stopped. Now the very top is decorated only with the inevitable storks.