18 April 2015

Slippered footsteps through the Bahia Palace, Marrakech

Every step Becca and I took with our local guide Sahmi seemed to sink us further and further into a gem box as we explored the winding souk lanes, then the Bahia Palace. Exquisitely laid mosaic floors, fragrant orange-tree lined terraces and bare plaster walls awaiting thick winter tapestries, crowned with neck achingly ornate ceilings.

Bahia Palace, Marrakesh

Bahia Palace, Marrakesh

And the occasional inevitable shoefie. You can take the blogger out of London, but you'll never quite conquer her photography addiction...

Bahia Palace, Marrakesh

Bahia Palace, Marrakesh   
The Bahia Palace set in extensive gardens, was built in the late 19th century by the Grand Vizier of Marrakech, Si Ahmed ben Musa (Bou-Ahmed). Bou Ahmed resided here with his four wives, 24 concubines and many children.

Bahia Palace, Marrakesh
 
Bahia Palace, Marrakesh

With a name meaning "brilliance", it was intended to be the greatest palace of its time and, as in similar developments of the period in other countries, it was designed to capture the essence of the Islamic and Moroccan style. 

Bahia Palace, Marrakesh

Bahia Palace, Marrakesh

Our imaginations ran riot through the secret doors, worship chambers, enclosed spaces, large sun filled courtyards and bloom carved doors.

Bahia Palace, Marrakesh

Bou-Ahmed paid special attention to the privacy of the palace in its construction and employed architectural features such as multiple doors which prevented unwelcome views of the interior (mostly to protect his harem and their children.

Bahia Palace, Marrakesh
 
Bahia Palace, Marrakesh
  
 The palace took seven years to build, with hundreds of craftsmen from Fes working on its wood, carved stucco and zellij.

Bahia Palace, Marrakesh

You can easily imagine (without the selfie wielding tourists) the slippered hustle and bustle of a Grand Vizier's court; trays of sweetened mint tea and bite size delicacies wheeling through the corridors, whispered familial intrigues, children being naughty in amongst the lavish greenery and occasional biting words between the wives vying for affection.


Ahh, Marrakech.

15 comments :

  1. Wow! It looks so amazing. I would really love to go to Morocco. How did you find it just with two females?

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  2. Hooray for tiles, shoefies and tea...blog rules apply everywhere :)

    Lots of love,

    Angie

    SilverSpoon London

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  3. Love the shoefie, Emma and the carving details. I went to Marrakech years ago and my favourite place was Yves Saint Laurent's garden

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

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  4. It sort of reminds me of the Alcazar in Seville, Spain. That is one of the prettiest places I've ever been!

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  5. We had read plenty beforehand, and hiring a local guide really helped, also Rebecca has visited before (and definitely says avoid the market square at night). I thought I'd feel more on display, but we wore incredibly conservative clothing and ignored any staring which wasn't too bad.

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  6. Isn't the Yves Saint Laurent's garden simply something else!

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  7. They're just so different to the modern Western concrete and glass slab buildings aren't they!

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  8. Beautiful! Though my neck does feel a little achy just looking through these! ;)

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  9. EVERYTHING IS SO COLOURFUL!

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