This ‘dar’ originally was built as a mansion by royal chamberlain Sidi Saýd, a brother of ‘Minister’ Bou Ahmed - who extended the Bahia Palacre- in the 19th century. This ‘dar’ can be considered as a kind of a palace or at least the house of a rich person with a couple of courtyards. Nowadays it houses the Museum of Moroccan Arts with (antique) artefacts like clothing, jewellery, leather, woodworks, carpets, daggers and pottery.
We missed Dar Si Said during our first stay in Marrakech due to renovations and now it was the first sight to visit, also because it was rather close to our riad (Riad Safran). After paying the entrance fee we entered the museum, but to be honest we were not very impressed by the exhibit rooms, partial because of the lack of proper information in English and a museum brochure.
But once we reached the second courtyard we had to change our opinion. This inner court was filled with trees, in the centre a gazebo with a small fountain and tiles. It is surrounded by other exhibit rooms with beautiful carved doors and colourful stucco work. This courtyard is a nice quiet and green oasis in the hustle and bustle of Marrakech.
From here we entered the main rooms on the first floor, were we met a guardian. After telling him we liked the ‘dar’ very much he became even friendlier and we got a private tour explaining us everything (‘and more’) about the rooms with their fantastic cedar wood ceilings, the symmetric stuccowork, fantastic zellij tiles, the domed dance/reception room, bedroom of the harem woman, wedding dresses, and an antique small ‘merry-go-round’. Although officially not allowed he invited us to make pictures of this stunning part of Dar Si Said.
He deserved our tip as well did another guardian, who allowed us to enter the tiled courtyard of the harem (normally not open for public) with its fountain. Due to these tips we saw a lot more of this palace and its really fantastic Islamic style decorations.
Dar Si Said is smaller than nearby Bahia Palace, but I think it is more beautiful and nicer decorated.
Admission fee: 20 dirhams (2012)
Opening hours: Mon, Wed, Thur and Weekends 9.00 -11.45 and 14.30 -17.45
Friday 9.00 -11.30 15.00 -17.45
It's a cultural museum with needlecraft, tapestries, carpets and items of clothing. There are also ceramics, musical instruments, jewellery and photos. Something really fascinating, there are some chairs from a hand-cranked carousel!
The rooms are spacious and arranged over two floors.
Photography is not permitted but there are few officials and plenty of security camera blindspots.
The courtyard is beautiful!
If I returned to the city, I would visit this museum again.
This museum has a small collection of moroccan applied arts, mostly clothing, jewelyry, leather, woodworks and historic weapons. The collection is no big deal in my opinion, but the museum has a wonderful and quiet historic courtyard. And if you ask the museum watchman for the "harem", he may show you another pretty tiled courtyard (not open to the general public) for a small bribe of 10 Dirham.
Built by Sidi Saýd, brother of Vizier (Minister) Bou Ahmed, this 19th-century palace is now an arts-and-crafts museum. The excellent collection of Moroccan antique crafts includes jewelry, local carpets and leatherwork, and pottery from the seaside town of Safi and from Tamegroute, near Zagora. One prize holding is a marble basin with an inscription indicating its 10th-century Cýrdoban origin; the basin, which is sometimes on loan to other museums, was brought to Morocco by the Almoravid sultan Ali ben Youssef for his mosque -- in spite of its decorative eagles and griffins, which defy the Koran's prohibition of artistic representations of living things. At some point during the Saadian dynasty, it found its way to the Ali ben Youssef Medersa and was later moved here. The palace's courtyard is stunning, filled with flowers and cypress trees and furnished with a gazebo and fountain; and the adjacent salons burst with jewelry, daggers, and ornate kaftans. The most extraordinary salon is upstairs, a somber room in the most authentic style of the period: gibs cornices, zellij walls, and an amazing carved-cedar ceiling painted in the zouak style (bright colors in intricate patterns). Guides are available on-site
Originally the town house of Sidi Said, this building now contains the Museum of Moroccan Arts.
Quite an interesting Museum, not just for its exhibits, but also for the architecture and decoration of the house. The highly decorative cedar wood ceiling is stunning-my photo below doesn't do it justice I'm afraid
The museum is on 3 stories and in typical Islamic style, rooms open onto an inner courtyard and garden, through ornate doors that are good examples of High and Anti Atlas craftsmanship.
The gardens are quite pleasant too, with pathways set out in symetrical patterns leading to a covered fountain. -see my photos below.
Open 0900 -11.45 14.30 -17.45 Mon, Wed, Thur and W/ends.
0900 -11.30 15.00 -17.45 Fri
20dh entrance fee.
Most explanations are in Arabic and French, with a few in English
Dar Si Said is worth to visit, not only because of the museum, but also because the building itself. It has the typical characteristics of the houses in this area.
At the first floor is a nicely decorated room with a abundant carved and painted wooden ceiling. In this museum of Morrocan art you can see a collection of silver jewellery, old muskets, carpets and other local handicrafts.
At a few minutes walk southeast of the busy Djemaa el-Fna square is the Dar Si Said palace, which is now the very interesting Museum of Moroccan arts.
The lovely central courtyard is a nice tranquil place to be, like the whole palace is. After the spectacle in the city and at the square it's very relaxing to spend some time here.
The Dar Si Said Museum of Moroccan Arts is based in a palace dating from the nineteenth century.
There are some interesting exhibits, including a primitive wooden ancestor of the ferris wheel, and the building itself is beautiful, especially the reception room on the upper floor.
The custodian was very assiduous and helpful in showing us round, and we were very happy to give him the customary tip at the end of our visit.