Top 10 Places Not to Miss > Majorelle Garden, Marrakesh
Travel To The Majorelle Garden in Marrakech, Morocco
The subtropical Majorelle Garden is located in the heart of Gueliz, Hivernage within the Imperial city of Marrakech. It is one of the most delightful and stunning spots within this red walled city. To arrive at this meticulously designed botanical garden you must pass through Marrakech’s medina filled with acres of olive groves and palms.
The Majorelle Garden (Jardin Majorelle) previously the Jardin Bou Saf, was designed by the French expatriate artist Jacques Majorelle in 1924. Jacques Majorelle was the son of the celebrated Art Nouveau furniture designer Louis Majorelle. He studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Nancy in 1901 and later in 1919 he went to Marrakech, Morocco to recover from heart problems. He built the garden during those years using special colour of blue which he used extensively in the garden that is named after him, Majorelle Blue. Jacques Majorelle returned to France in 1962 after a car incident and died later that year of complications from his injuries. Even though Morocco is no longer under the French protectorate, this originally French creation is one of the most beloved areas in Morocco.
Although the Majorelle Garden has existed in Morocco for decades, it was only made famous abroad when the Majorelle Garden’s former owner and care-taker, fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, featured it in the 1997 Chelsea Flower Show in London. Since this time, many have journeyed to Morocco just to see the Majorelle Garden.
Yves Henri Donat Mathieu-Saint-Laurent, known as Yves Saint Laurent was born on August 1, 1936 in Oran, Algeria. Laurent became a fashion designer and was considered one of the greatest figures in French fashion in the 20th century. He was one of the most celebrated and influential designers of the past twenty-five years. During the 1960s and 1970s Saint Laurent was considered one of Paris's "jet set". He was often seen at clubs in France and New York such as Regine's and Studio 54. When he was not actively supervising the preparation of a collection, though, he spent time at his second home in Marrakech,Morocco.
Recently, the gift shop within the Majorelle Garden has been redesigned to include some of the most fashionable Jalabas and a wealth of books and unique gift items. The garden has also been re-cropped with new trees, plants, cactus and grass so it continues to remain a Moroccan treasure trove. .
The Majorelle and its buildings are embellished by a unique shade of cobalt blue - the featured color in the garden. The garden is twelve acres in size and radiates with multi-colored bougainvillea, rows of bright orange nasturtiums, pink geraniums, bold pergolas and concrete paths that exist in shades of pastel pink, lovely lemon and apple green.
With the garden there are the over fifteen different species of birds, such as turtle doves, bulbuls and house buntings. With its beautiful groves of bamboo, date palms and various lily covered pools, it is little wonder why these marvelous creatures choose Majorelle Garden as their home.
When visiting the Majorelle Garden, make sure not to miss petite well curated Islamic Art Museum of Marrakech, which is located on the garden’s grounds. The collection includes Northern African textiles, traditional killims (carpets) of Arabic and Berber design, pottery, jewelry, ceramics, furniture, paintings and two large doors from Yves Saint-Laurent’s personal collection.
The Majorelle Garden is open all year long with the exception of October and November. The hours change depending on the time of year so make sure to check your itinerary against garden’s schedule.
If after exploring the Majorelle Garden, you still feel compelled to see more of Marrakesh's botanical beauty, there are a few other gardens worth the visit.
The most famous are the Agdal and the Menara, two gardens designed with the purpose of being a place of relaxation.
South of the Royal Palace and the Mellah, many visit Agdal on as continuation to touring the lower Medina. The garden is only open on Fridays and Sundays and if the king is in Marrakech it is often closed. The Agdal is renowned for its system of wells and underground channels that stretch out to the Ourika Valley. Inside the garden are orange, fig, lemon, apricot and pomegranates orchards that are divided into square, irrigated plots raised by walkways and avenues of olive trees.
The Menara Gardens, built in the 12th century, is more widely visited than the Agdal Gardens due to its accessibility to tourists and Moroccans. The gardens located on the Avenue de la Menara and are easy to find. Many families picnic they are surrounded by a picture perfect background of the Atlas Mountains and lovely groves of olives. On Wednesday - Saturday, the garden is a city highlight as its pool area gets overtaken with acrobats, dancers and fireworks. In summer, the Menara has several drink stalls. The name menara derives from the pavilion with its small green pyramid roof (menzeh). The pavilion was built during the 16th centurysurrounding an artificial lake - the point of confluence of a canal system - used to irrigate the surrounding gardens and orchards.
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