A Hidden Gem in the Maze of Marrakech…
After just a few days of walking around the city visiting the must-see tourist attractions – such as the Koutoubia Mosque, and Jemaa el-Fnaa Square in the Medina quarter, – in the hustle and bustle and heat that is Marrakech, finding the Majorelle Garden came as a welcome relief to us.
Le Jardin Majorelle is a twelve-acre botanical garden that sits in the heart of the Nouvelle Ville or ‘New Town’ in Marrakech. The garden was designed in the 1920’s and 1930’s by an expatriate French artist named Jacques Majorelle, whilst Morocco was a protectorate of France, and has been open to the public since 1947.
In 2010, we found much of the ‘New Town’ to resemble a building-site, so it was quite a surprise that in the midst of the construction noise, dust and car fumes, we stumbled upon a ‘garden’, and found ourselves in a wonderful haven of tranquillity. This was far from what we had experienced the day before in the souk having got lost in the complete labyrinth of stalls!
Entrance fees were 30 dirham or 3 Euro per person, a reasonable price as far tourist attractions go. I would recommend a stroll around the ‘New Town’ and a visit to the Jardin Majorelle, even if ‘gardens’ are not your thing, the simple reason – the opportunity to take some shade from the intense heat, (particularly if your hotel does not have a pool).
As well as the garden hosting more than 15 species of birds that are endemic to north Africa, it also has an impressive cactus collection.
Wandering around in the shade, we found the buildings within the grounds to be particularly eye-catching.
They are painted in a special shade of bold cobalt blue, named after Jacques Majorelle himself –bleu majorelle.
It is the perfect colour to accentuate the flora and fauna and many Arabic patterns found within the grounds.
Since 1980, the garden has been owned by Yves Saint-Laurent and Pierre Berge. We found out that after Yves Saint-Laurent died in 2008 his ashes have since been scattered in the Jardin Majorelle. I think it’s a very fitting resting place.
Have you ever found a hidden gem of your own? Have you stumbled upon something completely unexpected in the midst of your surroundings?
From our short time in Marrakech, we are so glad we found Jardin Majorelle.