El Bahia Palace, Marrakesh

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  • Ceiling Work, Bahia Palace, Marrakech
    Ceiling Work, Bahia Palace, Marrakech
    by antistar
  • Stained glass windows, Bahia Palace, Marrakech
    Stained glass windows, Bahia Palace,...
    by antistar
  • Ceiling Work, Bahia Palace, Marrakech
    Ceiling Work, Bahia Palace, Marrakech
    by antistar
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    Bahia Palace

    by antistar Written Jan 19, 2014
    Bahia Palace, Marrakech
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    The royal Bahia Palace was built to impress. It was intended to be the finest building in the world, and took a legion of master craftsmen shipped in from Fez 15 years to complete. It consists of 160 rooms, each one of which is decorated to the highest degree in marble tadelakt plaster, zellige terracotta tiles and polished cedar ceilings - all examples of the best in Moroccan interior design. I read that Morocco has some of the finest craftsmen in the world, but that nothing ever gets finished unless the King himself turns up to watch over them. Here you can see what happens when the greatest craftsmen complete their work on a massive scale.

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    Moorish architecture

    by CDM7 Updated Dec 9, 2013

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    One of the beautiful ceilings.
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    The El Bahia palace is situated in the south of the Medina and is approached by a long garden driveway.Once inside you are directed by arrows on the wall which take you through a succession of rooms and courtyards.The decoration in the rooms with the tiling,carved wooden doors and ornate ceilings gives you a good idea of Moorish architecture.Very little information inside so you really need the help of a guide.Enjoyed our visit,allow about 1 hour.Excellent value for 10 dirhams.

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  • al2401's Profile Photo

    The Bahia Palace

    by al2401 Written Aug 22, 2011

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    The courtyard
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    The Bahia Palace is located in the medina of Marrakesh near the Jewish quarter. The exact dates of the construction of the palace ae not known but it was completed by 1900.

    The palace complex was erected in sections additional tracts of land were obtained resulting in a slightly haphazard layout. The palace is quite large and spreads over almost eight hectares including walled gardens, pavilions, and courtyard buildings.

    The older part of the palace is the Dar Si Moussa which includes a courtyard in the north of the complexand a central garden featuring several fountains and cypress, orange, jasmine, and banana trees.

    The palace has some fine example of Moroccan architecture and design - beautiful carved archways, marble floors, painted cedar ceilings and tiled panels. I especially admired the intricate carving above the windows of the harem.

    The Bahia Palace has been well-maintained over the past century by the Moroccan government and is currently used to receive foreign dignitaries. Part of the palace is occupied by the Moroccan Ministry of Cultural Affairs.

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  • AnthonyMason's Profile Photo

    Nice Palace but needs restoration

    by AnthonyMason Written Jul 2, 2010

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    This palace is quite close to the Jemma el Fna square. It has some amazing decorations inside, on the floors, walls and ceilings. Some of the tiling done in the palace looks really nice. There are plenty of places inside that provide a nice shade in the summers heat.

    The palace looks nice but it is in desperate need of restoration and if this was done it would look a million times better.

    There was an entrance fee of 10 dirhams.

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  • Donna_in_India's Profile Photo

    Beautiful Palace

    by Donna_in_India Updated Jul 15, 2009

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    Palais De La Bahia

    Palais De La Bahia is a private palace dating to the 19th century. With decorated rooms and ceilings, mosaic fireplaces, beautiful gardens and patios, Palais De La Bahia was the prettiest place we saw in Marrakech. Even had a harem!

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  • angiebabe's Profile Photo

    Enjoy the artistry of the beautiful Palais Bahia

    by angiebabe Updated Jun 24, 2009

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    Palais Bahia translates as Palace of the Favourite.

    Built in two stages or parts at the end of the 19th century by two powerful grand viziers - the older part built by Si Moussa, the vizier of Sultan Sidi Mohammed ben Abderrahman, and the newer part of the two built by Si Moussa's son, Ba Ahmed, vizier of Moulay Abdelaziz.

    The older part contains apartments around a marble-paved courtyard and an open courtyard with cypress and orange trees and jasmine, with 2 star shaped pools.

    The newer part is a huge palace complex containing luxurious apartments looking onto courtyards planted with trees. The best craftsmen in the kingdom were apparently hired to build and decorate this palace and it is decorated with prized materials such as marble from Meknes, cedar from the Middle Atlas and tiles from Tetouan.

    The main courtyard, once used by the vizier's concubines, is paved with marble and zellij tilework, with 3 fountains and surrounded by a gallery of finely fluted columns. This courtyard faces the main reception room with a cedar ceiling painted with arabesque.

    I have visited the Bahia on two occasions - the first was quite rushed and I always after wanted to come back for a better look! When I finally returned last year I needed about 1 and a half to 2 hours to adequately see and photograph this beautiful complex!

    Entrance is still only 10 dirham - approximately 1 euro
    Check if it definitely closes for a lunchbreak from about 1230 to 230 pm each day. Opens early before 9am and closes 6pm.

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  • keeweechic's Profile Photo

    Inside Courtyard

    by keeweechic Written Feb 16, 2009

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    There are two other courtyards with jasmine, cypress, lemon and orange trees. It is believed that Ba Hmad, Sdid Moussa’s son, received government representatives in these areas. Zellij tile work is laid out in beautiful designs on the floor of the courtyards and surround small fountains.

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  • keeweechic's Profile Photo

    French Occupation

    by keeweechic Written Feb 16, 2009

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    During the 1900’s, the French conquered Marrakesh and Marshal Lyautey used the Palace as his residence. During this time he chose to update and modernise the complex.
    Decorations take the form of subtle stucco panels, zellij decorations, tiled floors, smooth arches, carved-cedar ceilings, shiny marble (tadlak) finishes and zouak painted ceilings.

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  • keeweechic's Profile Photo

    Imported Tradesmen

    by keeweechic Written Feb 16, 2009

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    The palace is made up of 160 rooms opening off a maze of passageways and corridors. The bedrooms of the Harem varied in size depending on their importance. Some one thousand tradesmen were transported from Fez to work on the huge task which took around 15 years to complete

    The Palace is also a favourite roosting ground for storks, seen all along the palace walls.

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  • keeweechic's Profile Photo

    Single Storeyed

    by keeweechic Written Feb 16, 2009

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    The Grand Vizier was a large man and not fit enough to climb stairs and so he had the entire Palace build solely on one level. Marble was brought in from Meknes, the cedarwood came from the Middle Atlas and the beautiful tiles came from Tetounan.

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  • keeweechic's Profile Photo

    The Bahia Palace

    by keeweechic Written Feb 16, 2009

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    Bahia Palace’s name has two meanings ‘Place of the Favourite” or “Palace of the Beautiful”. It was designed by Muhammad al-Mekki and built around 1880 for the wives and concubines of Ahmed Ibn Moussa who was the Grand Vizier to Moulay Hassan. He wanted it to be the largest palace in Morocco. Around the outside of the palace buildings are 8 hectares of gardens. There is an admission charge.

    Opening hours: Wed-Mon 0830-1145 and 1430-1745.

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  • Mikebb's Profile Photo

    Bahia Palace - Classic Local Architecture

    by Mikebb Updated Feb 14, 2009

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    Entry To Palace
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    This palace was built in the 1890's by Bou Ahmed to house his family and retinue of 4 wives, 24 concubines and countles children. The architecture reflects the Muslim need for privacy with rambling rooms, eloborate reception halls, living quarters and pleasure gardens, fountains etc.

    The ruling Sultan, Abdel Aziz took displeasure with Ahmed for having the palace and upon his death had the palace looted.

    We enjoyed our visit to this palace, which still retains beautiful tiling and other examples of Moroccan craftmanship.

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  • Veroali's Profile Photo

    Al Bahia Palace

    by Veroali Written Dec 10, 2008

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    El Bahia Palace
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    El Bahia Palace was built in the end of 19. century for Ba Ahmed as his private house. There were a lot of rooms and made in magnificent and rich style. It is very large with small gardens, atriums and small squares. It is difficult to go the right way.
    El Bahia Palace should mean beautiful palace and it is, although a little bit empty.

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  • MichaelFalk1969's Profile Photo

    Al Bahia - Palace

    by MichaelFalk1969 Updated May 28, 2008

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    Al Bahia

    The Al-Bahia Palace is a rather modern one - built for moroccan nobleman in the 19th century. The extensive palace has a pretty garden and wonderful inner courtyards with banana plants, fountains and tilework mosaics. During colonial times, the French governor of Morocco took his residence in the Bahia Palace - a sensible decision !

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  • suvanki's Profile Photo

    See The Wood!!

    by suvanki Updated Apr 14, 2008

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    Cedar Wood Ceiling Palais de la Bahia
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    I visited the Bahia Palace twice, once planned, the second time unintentionally as part of a guided tour (see my Warnings and dangers tips) but I didn't mind too much as it is an interesting place and I did learn a bit more.

    Our guide kept saying what I thought at first was "See the wood", so I was looking up at the intricately painted ceiling, thinking what wood? but then realised he was actually saying Cedar wood! the artwork was painted over the highly prized cedar wood! (doh!) As You can see from my pictures, the artwork is quite stunning.

    Besides the painted cedar wood, The Bahia Palace has some good examples of stucco panels, Zellij tilework and stained glass windows. (Please see my photos below)

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