"Palace El Badi" Top 5 Page for this destination El Badi Palace Tip by suvanki
El Badi Palace, Marrakesh: 26 reviews and 69 photos
2 failed attempts to find the El Badi on my previous trip, I found it quite easily on my second trip.
The Palace of "The Incomparable" or "The Marvel" its name isn't easily translated, was built on the orders of Ahmed El Mansour after defeat of the Portuguese in the Battle of 3 kings.
Built 1578 to 1603, and paid for by ransom money from the Portuguese, Guinean gold and Sugar (which was exchanged for its equivalant weight in marble !)
It's design was influenced by the Alhambra Palace in Granada.
Italian marble, Rare woods from India, and Sudanese gold were used .Craftsmen from around the world were employed in construction and decoration. Its walls being covered with zillij tiles and carved stucco panels.
360 rooms, courtyards, pools, orange groves and an underground prison were enclosed in the brick walls. The most impressive room being the Kabba el Khamsinyya- named due to its 50 columns- it was probably the Reception Hall for state visits.
Sadly El Mansour died before completion of his dream.
Sultan Moulay Ismail decided to a bit of re-cycling, and over 10 years in the 17th C, removed the valuable materials and craftwork for his palace in Meknes! Looks like he got a bit carried away, as today there is just the shell of the Palace, whose walls provide nesting space for the many storks.
It is worth visiting to get an idea of the size, and you can get some idea of the layout from the foundations (and info plaques at strategic points) There are good views from the walls over the City into the Mellah, and you can clamber around the underground cells (bring a torch).
Late afternoon, the storks (cignones) make quite an impressive sight soaring into the sky, before swooping earthwards.
The treasure in the Palace now is the restored Koutoubia Minbar, considered to be one of the finest examples of wood working created by man in the world!
May or June, the Palace is the main venue of the annual Folklore Festival.
10dh admission to Palace + 10dh to see minbar
Open 08.30 - 11.45, 14.45 - 17.45
Directions: Between Kasbah and Mellah, near Saadian tombs. From Koutoubia Mosque, take Ave Haumann El Fetouaki to Place des Ferblantiers. Look for a large gate near the start of the ramparts, enter and turn R.
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