The Bahia Palace

The Bahia Palace, meaning brilliance in Arabic, is perhaps one of the best-preserved historical sites and certainly most interesting in Marrakech. Built between 1866 and 1867 by Si Moussa, this sprawling palace is set over two acres in the middle of the Marrakech medina and features 150 rooms, including a harem section located just off the sun-filled Court of Honour.

Having housed the Resident General during the French Protectorate era, today the Bahia Palace is a must-see historical museum open to the public daily and has previously hosted events such as the Marrakech Biennale.

Originally built for the personal use of Si Moussa, Grand Vizier of the Sultan, a former slave who climbed the ranks, the house was soon after occupied by his son Bou Ahmed. He slyly rose to power in 1894 when he managed to gain complete control over the state until his death in 1900. It was during Bou Ahmed’s reign that the brilliance of the palace was really enhanced with the addition lush gardens, the small riad surrounding private gardens (of which visitors today pass through immediately upon entering the palace area) and each of the rooms decorated in truly elegant Moroccan style – carved stucco and cedarwood to decorate each of the rooms.

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