El Badi Palace in Marrakech
The El Badi Palace in Marrakech also referred to as the Palace of the Incomparables, is a testament to architectural grandeur that once held the distinction of being one of the largest and most opulent palaces worldwide. However, the passage of time has significantly transformed its appearance. In this article, we go on a journey to uncover the motivations driving its construction, the factors that played a role in its eventual decline, and provide you with indispensable details to enhance your visit while exploring Marrakech.
History of El Badi Palace in Marrakech?
El Badi Palace, commissioned by Sultan Ahmed al-Mansour in the 16th century, stands as his enduring architectural legacy in the city of Marrakech. Its construction, initiated after 1578, was conceived to commemorate the sultan’s triumphant victory in the Battle of the Three Kings, a significant historical event that unfolded in Kazarquivir.
Spanning an immense area of over 130 by 110 meters, the palace boasted a remarkable central courtyard graced with a vast artificial pond. With more than 300 rooms and various pavilions serving diverse purposes, the palace was the stage for grand official receptions, orchestrated to leave an indelible impression on the sultan’s distinguished guests. It’s no wonder that the Alhambra in Granada served as a major source of inspiration for this majestic edifice.
The architectural splendor and ornamentation of El Badi Palace were emblematic of the opulence and sophistication of its era. Precious materials, intricate mosaics, exquisite reliefs, and ornamental columns all contributed to the palace’s overall magnificence and luxury.
Regrettably, in the ensuing centuries, El Badi Palace underwent a stark transformation in destiny. In the late 17th century, Sultan Mulay Ismail opted to dismantle a significant portion of the structure, removing valuable furniture, decorative elements, and ornamental details. This included the gold panels and Italian marble that once adorned the premises, as well as the iconic access door known as Bab Al-Rokham.
Despite its present state of ruins, El Badi Palace stands as a formidable testament to the history and former glory of Marrakech. Understanding its history and envisioning its former splendor allows us to recognize its enduring value and immerse ourselves in the city’s rich cultural heritage.
What is El Badi Palace today?
Today, the El Badi Palace stands as a collection of ruins, stripped of its former ornamentation. The predominant hues are the reddish tones of Marrakech characteristic bricks and the gentle greenery provided by the orange trees that grace its courtyard. Nevertheless, as mentioned earlier, the inclusion of the Minbar from the Koutoubia Mosque enriches the visitor experience.
One of the key highlights of exploring the El Badi Palace in Marrakech is the opportunity to ascend its walls. From this vantage point, you can gain a fresh perspective on the city and relish breathtaking panoramic vistas.
It’s essential to bear in mind that, owing to its state of decay, the El Badi Palace may not immediately captivate with visual beauty. However, comprehending its history and acknowledging its former grandeur allows us to recognize its true worth. Therefore, it’s advisable to explore it in the company of an expert guide who can offer a comprehensive and enlightening narrative.
If you are planning a visit to the El Badi Palace, it’s highly recommended to engage an official guide who can provide in-depth insights into its history. At our agency Best Morocco Travel, we are dedicated to connecting you with the finest professionals to ensure your visit to the El Badi Palace is truly memorable. Do not hesitate to reach out for additional information and assistance.
Visiting Hours: Daily, from 9:00 am. to 5:00 pm.
Entrance Fee: 70 DH.
Address: Ksibat Nhass, located less than a kilometer south of the renowned Jemaa el Fna square.
Please note: Prices and schedules may be subject to changes and updates, so it’s advisable to verify them on the official website.