No place so effortlessly involves you and keeps you coming back for more. For centuries, this unique and extraordinary square has been the nerve centre of Marrakech and symbol of the city. By day, most of the square is just a big open space, in which a handful of snake charmers play their flutes at cruelly mutilated cobras. It has a gruesome past, until the 19th century, criminals on whom the death sentence had been passed were beheaded here. Sometimes up to 50 people were executed on a single day, their heads pickled and suspended from the city gates. No traces are left of this today, from sunset a carnival night every night and musicians, acrobats, storytellers and slapstick acting troupes tap into the Medina frenetic pulse. UNESCO has declared it a world heritage site.