Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #1

PaPalais Bahia (Bahia Palace) is a palace and a set of gardens in Marrakesh, Morocco, built in the late 19th century and intended to be the greatest palace of its time; the name means “brilliance”

 

”Imagine what you could build with Morocco’s top artisans at your service for 14 years, and here you have it.  The salons of both the petit riad and grand riad host intricate marquetry and zouak (painted wood) ceilings while the vast grand courtyard, trimmed in jaunty blue and yellow, leads to the Room of Honour, with a spectacular cedar ceiling.  The harem offers up yet more dazzling interiors with original woven-silk panels, stained glass windows and rose-bouquet painted ceilings.  The floor-to-ceiling decoration here was begun by Grand Vizier Si Moussa in the 1860s and embellished from 1894 to 1900 by slave-turned-vizier Abu ‘Bou’ Ahmed.  In 1908 the palace’s beguiling charms attracted warlord Pasha Glaoui, who claimed it as a suitable venue to entertain French guests.  They, in turn, were so impressed that they booted out their host in 1911, installing the protectorate’s resident-general in his place.  Though today only a portion of the palace’s eight hectares and 150 rooms is open to the public, there’s still plenty of ornamental frippery on show.  While admiring the tranquil grand courtyard with its floor laid in white Carrara marble, remember this is where people waited in the sun for hours to beg for Bou Ahmed’s mercy.  Bou Ahmed’s four wives and 24 concubines all lived in the lavish interiors of the harem’s small salons.” — http://www.lonelyplanet.com

 

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #2

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #2

 

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #3

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #3

 

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #4

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #4

 

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #5

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #5

 

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #6

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #6

 

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #7

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #7

 

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #8

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #8

 

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #9

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #9

 

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #10 – quite unusual in a Moorish-design palace- a Mogen David (Star of David – the “Jewish star”)

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #10 – quite unusual in a Moorish-design palace: a Mogen David (Star of David – the “Jewish star”)

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Villa des Orangers, Marrakech, Morocco

The narrow arched street entrance to Villa des Orangers, Marrakech, Morocco, does not convey the size or architectural elegance of the riad (a traditional Moroccan medina house) where we

The narrow arched street entrance to Villa des Orangers, Marrakech, Morocco, does not convey the size or architectural elegance of the riad (a traditional Moroccan medina house) where we stayed in the city

 

Taking the recommendation from some good friends, we booked our stay in Marrakech, Morocco, at Villa des Orangers.  We thoroughly enjoyed staying in an oasis in the heart of the city, on the edge of the Medina (old city).  The architecture is traditional Moorish style with elegantly carved decorations throughout the riad – as seen in the photographs, below.  [“Moorish architecture is the articulated Islamic architecture of North Africa and parts of Spain and Portugal, where the Andalusians were dominant between 711 and 1492.” – Wikipedia]

 

The villa is named Villa des Orangers because of the large number of orange trees on the property – seen here is the main patio-courtyard with a beautiful fountain; Marrakech, Morocco

The villa is named Villa des Orangers because of the large number of orange trees on the property – seen here is the main patio/courtyard with a beautiful fountain; Marrakech, Morocco

 

“Located close to the famous Jemaa El Fna square, the Villa des Orangers is a riad, a traditional medina house.  This elegant and pleasant hotel with 27 rooms and suites is built around three verdant patios with a fountain, leading to galleries with carved plaster arcades.  Upstairs, suites with private terraces overlook the medina.  Rooftops converted into swimming pools, gardens, and sun decks overlook the old town and the Koutoubia Mosque, and have an unobstructed view of the Atlas mountains.  The three lounges each have a fireplace, creating a warm and friendly atmosphere, and are unique places to unwind in the calmest of settings.  On the garden side, the hotel also has sumptuous suites with balconies overlooking a large heated pool and two restaurant rooms, where you can savour Mediterranean-inspired cuisine.” — http://www.relaischateaux,com

 

The fountain in the main patio, Villa des Orangers, Marrakech, Morocco

The fountain in the main patio, Villa des Orangers, Marrakech, Morocco

 

Elaborately carved doors with Moorish geometric designs, Villa des Orangers, Marrakech, Morocco

Elaborately carved doors with Moorish geometric designs, Villa des Orangers, Marrakech, Morocco

 

A view of the orange trees, arches and columns of the main patio-courtyard as seen from the upper level, Villa des Orangers, Marrakech, Morocco

A view of the orange trees, arches and columns of the main patio/courtyard as seen from the upper level, Villa des Orangers, Marrakech, Morocco

 

Architectural details, Villa des Orangers, Marrakech, Morocco

Architectural details, Villa des Orangers, Marrakech, Morocco

 

Details of one of the columns in the main patio-courtyard, Villa des Orangers, Marrakech, Morocco

Details of one of the columns in the main patio/courtyard, Villa des Orangers, Marrakech, Morocco

 

A second patio-courtyard, Villa des Orangers, Marrakech, Morocco

A second patio/courtyard, Villa des Orangers, Marrakech, Morocco

 

Details of the columns and ceiling of the second patio-courtyard, Villa des Orangers, Marrakech, Morocco

Details of the columns and ceiling of the second patio/courtyard, Villa des Orangers, Marrakech, Morocco

 

The door to our room with finely carved designs, Villa des Orangers, Marrakech, Morocco

The door to our room with finely carved designs, Villa des Orangers, Marrakech, Morocco

 

The 25-meter swimming pool was heated and offered a refreshing break each afternoon after our touring, Villa des Orangers, Marrakech, Morocco

The 25-meter swimming pool was heated and offered a refreshing break each afternoon after our touring, Villa des Orangers, Marrakech, Morocco

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.