El Bahia Palace, Marrakesh

4 out of 5 stars 43 Reviews

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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
  • suvanki's Profile Photo

    See The Wood!!

    by suvanki Updated Apr 14, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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)

    Cedar Wood Ceiling Palais de la Bahia Cedar Wood panel, Bahia Palace, Marrakesh Stucco panel, Bahia Palace, Marrakesh Carved doorway with stucco panels and zellij tiles Stained Glass windows, Bahia Palace, Marrakesh
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  • call_me_rhia's Profile Photo

    el bahia palace

    by call_me_rhia Written Jan 28, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Bahia Palace of Marrakech was constructed within the Qasba of Marrakech in the late 19th century for Ahmed Ibn Moussa, the son of the grand vizier of the 'Alawid ruler Muhammad IV.

    El bahia palace is a lavish palace in the heart of the medina. It was designed by Muhammad al-Mekki of Marrakech and it is a large complex of houses and annexes set within extensive gardens and flanked by orange trees. Inside there is also a little mosque.

    The thing that stikes most when you visit is how lavish the decorations are: carved stucco, carved and painted woodwork, hiny marble finishes and glazed ceramic tile. Yet the best are the numerous courtyards... each with a very nice fountain in the middle.

    palace courtyard

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  • suvanki's Profile Photo

    Palais de la Bahia - The Harem Courtyard

    by suvanki Updated Nov 29, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This 19th century Palace is well worth a visit (I ended up making 2 visits, once independently, once (unintended) as part of a guided tour)

    Its name translates as 'The Brilliant'

    The attractive, well preserved, Harem Courtyard has featured in many Big Budget Movies.

    Part of the palace is closed to visitors as it is still used by the Royal family and their staff.

    The Bahia Palace was home to the Grand Vizier of Sultan Moulay al - Hassan, Si' Ahmed ben Musa or Bou Ahmed. It was built towards the end of the 19th century, taking nearly 15 years to complete. Following the death of Bou Ahmed, the Palace was Ransacked Restoration work is still ongoing !

    The rooms (nearly 150!), housed Ba Ahmed, his 4 wives and 24 concubines plus servants and guards.

    The Palace follows the patterns of typical Islamic architecture, with central courtyards, having rooms leading off, with doorways that are placed so that you can't see beyond (providing privacy) Fountains and gardens are also typical features, along with the decorative stucco panels, tiled floors and zellij work (see my next tip for more details)

    To view the palace, there are arrows guiding you through the various rooms.

    Open 08.30 - 11.15 and 14.30 -17.45 Sat - Thur
    08.30 - 11.30 and 15.00 - 17.45 Fri.
    Admission 10dh

    Bahia Palace Harem Courtyard Bahia Palace, Harem Courtyard Doorway to Harem Courtyard, Bahia Palace, Marrakes Room facing out to Harem Courtyard, Bahia Palace, Carved wood doorway and stained glass windows Bahi
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  • barryg23's Profile Photo

    Bahia Palace

    by barryg23 Written Apr 30, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One of Marrakech's most popular sights is Bahia Palace, a beautiful Saadian palace in the medina north of the Mellah. There were huge crowds gathered here the day we visited and we got in for free as a French couple who were leaving handed us their tickets which hadn't been taken. We had already been to Maison Tiskiwin and Dar Si Said so we had planned to leave the Bahia Palace until the following day but once we received the free tickets we decided to go see it.

    Despite the large crowds it was a very enjoyable place to visit. The palace contains a number of fine courtyards, riads and gardens. It’s deceptively large and on more than one occasion we thought we had seen everything only to find another passage leading to another elegant courtyard.

    Courtyard in Bahia Palace Entrance to Bahia Palace Tile work in Bahia Palace Inside Bahia Palace Decorations on door in the Palace

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  • iwys's Profile Photo

    Bahia Palace

    by iwys Updated Apr 5, 2007

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Bahia Palace is the most beautiful building complex in Marrakech. It was built in 1886-87 for Si Moussa, a former slave. If you ever wanted to see a rags to riches story, then this is it.

    Admission: 10dh

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  • earthflyer's Profile Photo

    Peace & Quiet

    by earthflyer Updated Mar 17, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A Wonderful place to visit. Nice and quiet away from the noise of Marrakesh roads.

    The mosiac designs on the floor and walls are beautiful and the paintings on the woodwork are colourful, Many arch ways around the Palace.

    Nobody gives you any hassle to show you around, you can just walk around at your own leisure.

    Admission is 10 dirhams less than £1

    Well worth a visit.

    Click on 4 more photos.

    Palais de la Bahia, Marrakesh Palais de la Bahia, Marrakesh Palais de la Bahia, Marrakesh Palais de la Bahia, Marrakesh The palace archways, Marrakesh
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  • MM212's Profile Photo

    Palais de la Bahia

    by MM212 Updated Dec 9, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One of the best preserved palaces of Marrakech, el Bahia Palace is not to be missed. It was built in the late 19th century by a vizier to the sultan and expanded by the acquisition of neighbouring houses, which resulted in a labyrinth of corriders and chambers. While not terribly ancient, the palace is decorated in traditional Moroccan motifs, but does not follow the typical plan of a riad. The palace contains a grand harem, the women's quarters, which apparently was needed for the vizier's four wives and many concubines!

    Arches of el Bahia Courtyard Entrance to Palais el Bahia One of several gardens
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  • The Bahia is the best

    by lucyt Updated May 15, 2006

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I just adore the Bahia Palace and make a point of going on each trip.
    Whilst is it invariably overcrowded and a little run down, the architecture is great and there's a very friendly resident tortoishell cat.
    What I love most about it is its tangible connection to Edith Wharton, one of my favourite writers. She stayed as a guest in the harem when the palace was still used as a residence. She talks about her stay in "In Morocco" and, following her description, you can easily work out in which room she stayed.

    Bahia fountain
    Related to:
    • Women's Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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  • tini58de's Profile Photo

    El Bahia Palace

    by tini58de Updated Feb 5, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    What a beautiful palace:

    you will find everything you imagine about a palace from 1001 nights:

    sunlit courtyards, beautiful gardens with wells and fountains, stucco, colorful windows, mosaics, beautifully painted woodworks and many hidden corners and rooms!

    I loved every step of the visit there! Maybe the few photos I posted here will give you an idea!

    Entrance fee: 20 DH = 2 € (2006)

    Bahia palace courtyard 3 decorations: painted wood, stucco and mosaics Bahia Palace Bahia Palace mosaic Bahia Palace gardens

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  • Simon1944's Profile Photo

    Terrific Value Hammam Ziani

    by Simon1944 Written Nov 27, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Hamman Ziani is just down the road from Palais Bahia. It is a traditional style Hamman catering for tourists. 80Dh for Hammam, Steam, Gommage and Soaping - compared to 150 Dh at our hotel spa.

    I took a 280 Dh package including massage and algie wrap - excellent value and eveything was first class. It seemed to cure my aches and pains and a week later they still haven't returned. This impecably clean Hamman has different sections for Mena and Women and is open from 8.00 - 22.00. I strongly recommend it.

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  • grets's Profile Photo

    Bahia Palace

    by grets Written May 9, 2005

    From my journal:

    'Gary (the guide) tells us not to bring any handbags at this stage, which is a great shame, because I don’t have a flash gun for my camera and the ceilings and other decorations are really beautiful. The building mainly used to house the harem, and it is a little difficult to translate the expression ‘hanky panky room’ to my parents.'

    Ceiling decorations

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  • chrisvandenbroucke's Profile Photo

    Lovely Palace

    by chrisvandenbroucke Written Nov 25, 2004

    0.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Well, the Bahia is a lovely palace, no doubt about it but when you've done a lot of interesting places in the same day, a certain kind of 'overdon'' begins to work.
    Once again, you have a nice courtyard with nice tiles and a fountain but you've seen it already a few times today.

    As you can see in the picture, the kids were glad they had a comfortable coach...

    Bahia Palace coach
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  • diageva's Profile Photo

    Bahia Palace Women's Patio

    by diageva Updated Apr 6, 2004

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    This great patio was use by the women of the palace. Is where they use to have their place to walk. This patio is surrounding by more womans rooms and at one of it sides you can fin another patio that was the access to the palace for men and children. Separated this two patios by a door and wood windows that where closed by the side of men.

    Bahia Palace Women Patio

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  • travelmad478's Profile Photo

    Doorways of Bahia Palace

    by travelmad478 Written Jan 11, 2004

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    One of the most pleasing design features of this palace is the views it gives from one space into another. Often, you can stand in one spot and have your eyes drawn through several perfectly-placed doorways that frame an architectural feature beyond.

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  • travelmad478's Profile Photo

    Bahia Palace

    by travelmad478 Written Jan 11, 2004

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    The Bahia Palace, built in the late 19th century, is a superb example of Moroccan-Islamic architecture. The layout of the complex, with its courtyards and mazes of rooms, is typical of the style. The palace has been well restored and maintained, and its gorgeous tiles and carvings are quite impressive.

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