The Badia palace is in fact the royal palace
constructed by the most powerful ruler of the
Saadian dynasty'Ahmed Al-Mansour Ad-dahbi'.
1578 is when the buildings works took a start
and they would not get finished before 1594.
Now the palace is little more then a ruin.
But if you visit the Saadian tombs first you
can imagine what a rich and amazing palace
It must have been impressive only for it's size.
The inner court measured 135 by 110 meters
with a swimming pool in the middle 90 by 20 meters.
The picture shows the 'Koubba al Khamssiniyya' ,
-the pavilion of fity cubits. (referring to it's size).
The pavilion used to have a pyramid shaped
roof resting on twelve columns and was used
by the sultan for state audiences.
This enormous palace was another of the Saadian sultan Ahmed al-Mansour's extravagant creations and was described at the time as one of the world's most beautiful buildings. Unfortunately much of it was destroyed when the Saadian dynasty fell and Marrakech was ransacked.
Although you can't see the luxury and decoration I assume it would have been like a bigger version of the Saadian tombs - so extremely impressive! As it is you can still get a feel for the sheer size of the place and wander around the old ruins and crumbling walls. There are lovely orange groves in the main section and in the ruins behind there's a system of dark underground tunnels and dungeons to explore. Maybe I just hit it at the right time but it was a lot less crowded than most other Marrakech attractions - just me and a Japanese guy who insisted I pose for about a dozen photos!
This palace, built in the late 16th century, was an immense and sumptuous place in its day. Very sadly, it was demolished about a century later when another sultan decided to use its materials to build another palace in the city of Meknes. Only the outer walls and grounds remain, with just enough detail left of the pools and fountains to let you imagine what this place might have looked like in its heyday.
This was originally one of the most beautiful palace in the world. But now, it's only ruins since the materials were used to build Moulay Ismail's own palace in Meknes.
You can explore the underground corridors and go on top to admire the view (mainly on the storks). At the entrance, guides will propose you a guided tour of the ruins but according to me, it's not necessary since there is nothing special to see.
Entrance fee is 10 Dh (1 euro) but if you don't have much time, forget about this place ;-)
PALACE EL BADI
You can enter this old palace from the Ferblantiers Square. Entrance 10 Dh. This old palace is only ruins of brick walls, so unless you have plenty of time, is much better to see the nearby 'La Bahia' palace. The only interesting thing there is the mosque tower, but you'll have to pay extra to visit it.
El Badi Palace was grand in its day, but only the foundation is left in Marrakesh (I think all the beautiful mosaics and tiling went to one of the other imperial cities). What's left of the place seems to be the home of every stork in Morocco.
What a great place to wander and explore...there are few signs and no one to stop you from wandering into dark hallways and 'rooms.' And a very special part of the visit was that our friend, Mohamed had never had the opportunity to see the inside of the palace before so there were three curius tourists there.
Along the inside of the wall in the north-west of the Badi Palace is a row of rooms that were reserved for foreign guests, usually from diplomatic missions.
We went to El Badi Palace when it was sunset and the palace was already closed, so we didn't visit it.
Early in the morning the huge palace echoes with the cries of storks. They nest on top of the crumbling walls and there are literally dozens of them swooping about everywhere.
One of the sights at El Badi palace is the storks that make huge nests on top of its walls. Look up!
Old palace... There are not a lot of interesting things left...but the view from the roof is very nice and the visit of the undergrounds is funny :-)