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Majorelle Gardens were donated to Marrakech by Yves Sant-Laurent. Yves has a phallic pink memorial in the gardens. Although Morocco is a relatively liberal Islamic country, it's still slightly odd to wander the former home of such an overtly gay celebrity. In the souks a shopkeeper was trying to sell me a pouf - "it is a pouf not a poof - we don't like those here either".
Yves Sant-Laurent loved the city, though, and there's a definite ambivalence to homosexuality in Marrakech. You only have to wander the Djemaa el Fna and witness the cross-dressing men dancing seductively and clashing their zils with a rhythmic passion to see that. This behaviour is not just tolerated, but watched with great interest and cheered on by the mostly male crowds that gather around.
Yves didn't build the gardens, he bought them. They were originally laid out by French artist Jacques Majorelle when Morocco was still a colony of France. The gardens are marked by their extensive use of a strong cobalt blue paint, this colour became known as Majorelle Blue. It's a beautiful and tranquil oasis and a great place to escape to when the crowds of Marrakech start to overwhelm you.
A calm place in the city.
Although these gardens are small a visit here is well worth while.The gardens consist of a beautiful bamboo "forest",bougainvillea,cacti,palms and pools with water lilies.Owing to the size of these gardens it can get busy very quickly so an early morning or late afternoon visit is recommended.
A small cafe is situated in the grounds which serves drinks,sandwiches and,up until 11.30am, breakfast.Did not use this facility so cannot comment.
A Garden from Paradise!
My wife had been there twenty years ago and she was so surprised at how even more beautiful it now appearded on a May day. Yes, the plants have matured. Yes, the fountains were all working. Yes, everything was clean and well-tended.
Cobalt blue somehow goes well with the natural greens. There is plenty of yellow too! The paths are easy to follow and there are very few steps. You will need a good hour and a half to wander this small site, enjoy the plants and take photos.
There is a small museum too which is themed on the Berber peoples.
This delightful garden was created in the 1920s/30s. You can imagine te painter, Majorelle, wandering the grounds.
Do check the website for opening hours and restrictions.
If I return to Marrakech I would certainly revisit the Majorelle Gardens.
Marjorelle Gardens - Marrakech Must See
We loved Marjorelle Gardens. Please check out my travelogue for the full story. I enjoyed it because of the vibrant colours, cactus gardens, water lily pond and quaint shady paths.
The best way to get there is by horse and carriage....and we caught the hop on hop off bus back.
What I didn't know is that Yves Saint Laurent actually purchased this garden and restored it. He found the place an inspiration and refuge....and I can see why. When he died, he ashes were sprinkled in this garden and that is where his memorial is.
- Hiking and Walking
Beautiful and Serene
After the craziness of the Souks and the action of Jemaa El Fna Square a tip to the peaceful, serene gardens of Jardin Majorelle is well deserved! This small, but well maintained garden is an oasis in the desert. Jacques Majorelle, a french painter aquired the land in 1924 and begun the landscape we see today. In 1947 the gardens were opened to the public. After his death in 1962 Yves Saint Laurent aquired the property and a memorial to him can be found near the back of the garden.
When you enter the gardens you pass a peaceful fountain. As you continue through the garden you pass through a bamboo forest, a mediterannean oasis and a castus garden. The cobaly blue and yellows buildings provide a bright backdrop to the lushness of the garden.
Arrive early as this place is very popular. Entrance fees as of Sept 2011 are 40 MAD for the gardens and 25 MAD for the museum.
A beautiful peaceful place
What strikes you immediately about these gardens are the contrasting colours. In the brilliant sunshine, the electric blues of the paving and large planters contrasted with pink pathways and bright yellow pots. The plants are amazing, huge varieties of cactii and many more.
There is a cafe and the prices are more reasonable than you would expect.
Well worth spending an hour or more here.
Jardin Majorelle was created by the French artist, Jacques Majorelle. It is now looked after by Yves Saint Laurent. It is an exotic garden in an exotic city: an odd mixture of desert cacti and tropical trees and shrubs. It is quite small and you can see it all comfortably in 20 minutes. In fact, you could walk around it four or five times in that period. There are, however, benches, where it is nice to just sit, relax and enjoy the view. Peer through the fence to the right and you will see one of the grandest private houses in the world. It is based on a traditional kasbah design. I wonder who it belongs to? Yves St. Laurent perhaps?
- Arts and Culture
Peaceful gardens in the middle of a chaotic city
The Majorelle Gardens are nice and peaceful. It is in the middle of the city but once you get inside the doors of the gardens it feels like you are a million miles away. You cannot hear any of the traffic noise and it is very peaceful.
The gardens are a mix of exotic plants and flowers and you can easily stroll around them for an hour or two. This was my wifes favourite site in Marrakech as she felt that she could relax here and not have to worry about anything.
If you are in Marrakech then you must visit these gardens and appreciate the amount of work that has gone into creating them.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Arts and Culture
Majorelle Garden: Oasis of calm
This beautifully laid out garden was created by French artist Jacque Majorelle in the 1920s. It was built around his studio which now houses a museum. There is also a shop and a rather expensive café. The garden is quite small but is so cleverly planned with pathways winding among the foliage, that it appears larger than it is. The garden contains bougainvilleas, palms, cacti, olive trees, bamboo, and many other plants and shrubs. The gardens were neglected after Majorelle’s death in 1962, but were revived some years later by Yves St Laurent and the artist Pierre Bergé. There is a memorial dedicated to Yves St Laurent.
This is an extraordinary place.
It was created in in the late 1940s by French painter Jacques Majorelle. Then it was owned by Yves Saint Laurent until his death in 2008, and is now held by a foundation he set up.
It has a memorial to YSL in a quiet corner.
Apparently it was a constant inspiration to him, and I can see why. It is utterly beautiful.
Well worth 30 MAD - €2.80!
- Family Travel
- Arts and Culture
Haven in the city
These gardens were easily my favourite of the sights we saw in Marrakesh. This may be because we visited them before my injury, when I was able to explore them properly, but I am confident they would have been high up my list in any case. They are simply stunning, and even the large crowds of tourists who flock here (come earlier than we did to avoid them) can’t make them anything other than a haven is this manic city.
The gardens were established by French artist Jacques Majorelle who settled in Marrakesh in 1919 and in 1947 opened the doors of his garden to the general public. After his death in 1962 the gardens were for a while neglected, but in 1980 they were bought by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé, and restored to their former glory. After Yves Saint Laurent died in 2008 his ashes were scattered here, a clear sign of his affection for the gardens
This place is really a photographer’s dream. Every corner reveals a new vista, with pottery urns painted in the distinctive cobalt blue that has come to be known as “bleu Majorelle”, or in one of just three other shades in a harmonious limited palette – pale blue, deep vivid orange or an acid yellow. Plants are grouped, with the area near the entrance displaying a wide collection of cacti (my own favourites for photography with their lovely architectural forms), and further in palms, bamboo and many trees. There are water features with goldfish, turtles and small frogs, their edges and fountains painted in the same colour scheme as the pots. Benches invite you to sit and appreciate your surroundings, though competition for these can be fierce when the gardens are at their most crowded. And the sound of birdsong replaces the constant sound of traffic that dominates the rest of modern Marrakesh.
At the centre of what is in fact quite a small space is Majorelle’s former workshop and Saint Laurent’s studio, painted in the same shade of blue and now home to the small museum of Islamic Art. Unfortunately this was closed for renovations when we visited, but in any case I suspect we may have wanted to linger in the gardens rather than go indoors to view the collection. Other buildings house a pretty café (see my restaurant tip) and a small but classy shop – no haggling here!
The gardens are open every day including Sundays (8.00 till 17.00 in winter months, 8.00 till 18.00 in the summer) and entry costs a reasonable 30 dirhams. The small museum in the grounds has exhibits of Islamic art and costs a further 15 dirhams but this was closed when we visited so I can’t comment on whether a visit there is worth the extra fee.
These gardens were laid out in the period when colonialism was still a good word in Europe. In the 1920s the French artist Jacques Majorelle had it made, complete with pools, banana trees, coconut palms, bougainvilleas, and houses in a fantastic dark blue colour.
The gardens have later been taken well care of the French couturier Yves Saint-Laurent, who have added a private museum of North African artefacts.
The Majorelle Garden is one of the twentieth century's most mysterious gardens. It is a place of rare individual expression and mystical force. The garden is an overpowering abundance of vegetal shapes and forms representing five continents and reflects Jacques Majorelle's significance as one of the most important plant collectors of his time.
Jacques Majorelle's garden is perhaps his greatest oeuvre, a true work of art that continues to capture, mesmerize and enrapture the visiting public. Since acquiring and restoring the property, Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé have established a trust to ensure Majorelle Garden's future existence.
Entrance is 30dh, open every day 8.00-12.00 and 13.00-19.00 in summer (April-September) and until 17.30 in fall (September-November) and until 17.00 in winter (December-March).
The Majorelle Garden, established by Frenchman Jaques Majorelle in the 1920`s and now owned by Yves St. Laurent, is one of the most unique private gardens in the world. The dark-blue villa around which the gardens are built now houses a Museum of Islamic Art. The fascination of Majorelle are the striking and contrasting colours (blue villa, green palm trees & banana plants, blue-white fountain, orange, yellow and green flowerpots).
Located northwest of the Old Town ( a petit taxi from the Medina should cost no more than 30 Dirhams), the Garden is very popular with tourists and often crowded, so try to come early (8 o`clock) or maybe an hour before closing time. Even at peak time it is an enjoyable experience, though.
This garden outside the Medina walls in the newer part of town is a small haven in a bustling city. Designed by Jacques Marjorelle in 1924, it was restored to it's former glory by fashion designer Yves Saint Lauren.
It's amazing what hides behind the high walls. Entering a small courtyard with a central fountain and leading on to the garden with paths leading off in various directions, lined with tall bamboo and cacti. The bold cobalt blue of the house and plant pots contrast beautifully with the greenary.
The water feature in the centre of the garden can be viewed very differently from either end. There's another pond located at the furthest point (near the house) full of turtles, frogs and fish. This garden is so peaceful and well worth a visit.
There's a cafe inside a small courtyard where you can grab a bite to eat, a mint tea or a delicious fresh fruit smoothie.
Entrance fee: 30 dirhams to the garden, 15 dirhams to the museum.
symphony of colours
Majorelle garden is the one and only tourist sight in the Ville Nouvelle and completely different from the others in Marrakech. We visited the garden early December and there were not too many visitors. I did read several reviews saying the garden can be overcrowded; no wonder because the walks are rather narrow and the garden itself is not that huge at all.
Majorelle Garden is situated around the former studio of the founder - French painter Jacques Majorelle - and is a mixture of bamboo, palm trees, agave and cactuses. It is said there should be hundreds of species of palms and more than 1500 hundred cactuses. These abundant green plants are alternated with colourful bougainvilleas and other tropical flowers. Most charming are the fountains and ponds with water lilies.
Pots do have bright green, yellow and blue colours, paths are often made of red tiles and the ponds do have green and blue tiles.
This symphony of colours is a really feast for the eye. Find a (shaded) bench and just enjoy the plants and colours, far away from the hustle and bustle of the city life of Marrakech.
There is a (small) Museum of Islamic Arts in the former blue coloured studio of Majorelle, which shows ceramics, carpets, furniture, jewellery, beautifully carved doors and (of course) some of Majorelle’s paintings.
The garden has a nice café with a secluded terrace for a rather expensive drink or lunch. Behind the museum is a shop with some very interesting and original gifts; among them paint drums with the original ‘Majorelle Blue’.
October to May 8.00 am - 5.00pm / June to September 8.00am- 6.00pm
Garden 30 Dirhams / Museum 15 Dirham
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