Bahia Palace, a work of Moroccan architecture in Marrakech

On your trip to Marrakech, in Morocco, without a doubt, the Bahia Palace will be one of the corners that will surprise you the most.

'Bahia Palace' Image Credits: Flickr Under Creative Common License

Located in the southern part of the Medina of Marrakech, when you go to visit the Bahia Palace do not expect to see a large building with a striking exterior architecture. When you arrive at the palace grounds you will find yourself at a fence and, after crossing a door and walking on a landscaped path, is when you will arrive at the building.

The palace of the Bay of Marrakech is all distributed on a ground floor, and the palace complex is the result of having added numerous houses and courtyards adjacent to the original building.

Bahia Palace history in Marrakech

It was at the end of the 19th century when the great vizier Sidi Moussa decided to begin the construction of this palace, for which he summoned the best craftsmen of Morocco.

The works lasted six years, and after finishing its construction in 1900, the Bahia Palace is presented as a large maze of halls and courtyards, without any uniformity, but with corners of enormous architectural beauty.

To give you an idea of its large dimensions, I will tell you that the palace has 150 rooms and several courtyards, although only one third of its dependencies are visited, which in total occupy eight hectares.

As a curiosity I will tell you that the fact that all the dependencies of the Bahia Palace were distributed on a ground floor was due to the great obesity of the vizier, which made it difficult for him to climb stairs.

How to visit the Bahia Palace?

If you prefer to go with the company of a guide in Spanish to visit the Bahia Palace , you can sign up for this private tour of Marrakech that includes the visit of this very interesting place, with a duration of about 3 hours.

What to see in the visit of the Bahia Palace?

If you prefer to go on your own, I anticipate that in the walk through the palace of the Bay of Marrakech you will be able to enjoy the maximum artistic expression of Moroccan architecture, which is a combination of Arabic and Andalusian, with a beautiful decor.

Do not expect to see a perfectly preserved building; on the contrary, the Bahia palace is quite “abandoned “compared to equivalent buildings that you can see in other countries. However you must look at the mosaics of the walls, in the artistic work of the wooden doors, in the incredible decoration of the arches and in the great beauty of the carefully painted wooden ceilings.

The central point of your visit at the Bahia Palace will be the great Courtyard of Honor. 50 meters long, it is surrounded by a gallery to which the rooms occupied by the four wives and the 20 concubines of the great vizier.

The room that will surprise you most with its architectural beauty is the Council Room, with its porcelain tiled walls and painted cedar wood ceiling. After the death of the great vizier Sidi Moussa, in 1900, the sultan gave the order to sack the palace of the Bay.

This did not prevent, subsequently, was the place chosen by the French as the main headquarters of the Protectorate. Currently, the private area of the palace is a royal residence and is used to receive foreign dignitaries. It also has facilities of the Moroccan Ministry of Culture.

Marrakech bay palace schedule

The opening hours of the Palace of the Bay of Marrakech are from Monday to Sunday, 8 to 17 hours.

Bahia Palace ticket prices

The price of the entrance to the Bahia Palace is 7 euros.

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