Located in the Medina of Marrakech, Bahia Palace has wonderful examples of Moroccan architecture. The palace has a fascinating history, intricate tile and artwork, and tranquil courtyards filled with cypress, orange and jasmine trees. Its central location close to the main square of Jemaa el-Fna ensures it remains high on the list of city attractions.
To gain a true sense of Bahia Palace, begin an exploration in the oldest sector of the building, the Great Riad. Completed in the mid to late 1800s, the riad is intricately decorated with an abundance of Islamic and Moroccan tile work. Admire the detailed craftsmanship, as large bronze lanterns hang decadently, highlighting the marquetry and painted ceilings. Take a walk outside into the grand courtyard or Court of Honour, with its gleaming display of Carrara white marble flooring. It’s an open expanse surrounded by a gallery of architraves and columns providing shade from the sun. The inner patios are subtle and peaceful. Decorative tilework lines the pavements, and trees are surrounded by intricately carved wooden borders. The patio gardens are flanked by a variety of rooms and niches where government dignitaries were once received. There are 160 rooms and lush gardens in the palace grounds, take the time to enjoy the carved cedar and zouak painted ceilings of the riads and fragrant plants of the outdoor spaces.
Visitors can take a stroll from Jemaa el-Fna square to Bahia Palace in less than 15 minutes. Almost all buses in Marrakech stop at Jemaa el-Fna, alternatively disembark at Sidi Mimoun, a 15-minute walk from the palace. Those wishing to arrive in style can indulge in a horse-drawn carriage ride from Jemaa el-Fna at Place de Foucauld. Taxis are available in Marrakech, although it is always wise to confirm the fare prior to a journey.
Bahia Palace was built for Ba Ahmed in the mid to late 1800s. The construction incorporated the “Alawi” style popular during this era. The palace took over 15 years to complete, and craftsmen travelled from all over Morocco to complete the task. Today, it’s a popular landmark with adventurers arriving from all over the world eager to view the charming Moroccan architecture and explore this vast complex.