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Jardin Majorelle - Calm Amongst The Marrakesh Chaos

Updated on April 28, 2013

An Insight Into The Majorelle Garden, Marrakesh

When you've spent some time in Marrakesh your senses tend to go into a state of overload. Since Amoravid times Marrakesh has been famed for it's beautiful and peaceful gardens. From the gardens that surround the beacon of Koutoubia Mosque, seeing the sun set amid a backdrop of the Atlas Mountains in the Menara Gardens or the city-centre tranquility of the Jardin Majorelle: Marrakesh has a calm and peaceful spot for all tourists to get away from the blistering sun.

The Amazing Contrast And Beauty Of The Majorelle Garden

The amazing contast of the Jardin Majorelle in Marrakesh
The amazing contast of the Jardin Majorelle in Marrakesh | Source

Henri Matisse Inspired Colours In The Jardin Majorelle

Henri Matisse was a great inspiration for the colours of the Jardin Majorelle, Marrakesh
Henri Matisse was a great inspiration for the colours of the Jardin Majorelle, Marrakesh | Source

The Former Home Of Yves Saint Laurent

Influential French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent arrived in Marrakesh in 1964 alongside his partner Pierre Bergé

. They purchased the azure blue villa that had previously been owned by another influential Frenchman, the landscape painter Jacques Majorelle.

Jacques Majorelle had started work in 1924 on his vision of his ideal home. Laurent and Bergère bought into Majorelle's vision and with the help of acclaimed local Marrakshi botanist Abderrazzak Benchaâbane continued his work up until Laurent's death in 2008.

Yves Saint Laurent was so devoted to the Jardin Majorelle that his ashes were spread across the garden. A memorial stone now stands within the garden as a fitting tribute.

The Simple Memorial To Yves Saint Laurent

The memorial to French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, former owner of the Jardin Majorelle where his ashes were spread upon his death in 2008
The memorial to French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, former owner of the Jardin Majorelle where his ashes were spread upon his death in 2008 | Source

40 Years Of Jacques Majorelle's Passion

From it's acquisition in 1924, Jacques Majorelle poured his heart and soul into creating the amazing Majorelle gardens deep within the pink sandy walls of Marrakesh.

Majorelle crafted an amazing art-deco inspired azure blue villa, once his home but now the fitting setting for the Berber Museum. The blue inspired by the contrasts of the Atlas Mountains.

The Majorelle Gardens is the most amazing Moroccan garden.
The Majorelle Gardens is the most amazing Moroccan garden. | Source

A History Of The Jardin Majorelle

The Majorelle Gardens did not start in such grandeur or magnitude as they are today.

1923- The beginnings


In 1923 painter Jacques Majorelle purchased a small piece of land of size around four acres on the edge of the palm groves of Marrakesh. The presence of water in the area inspired Majorelle to name his first property Bou Saf Saf Villa.

Majorelle continued to purchase pockets of land until his holding totalled around ten acres. Behind Villa Bou Saf Saf he constructed another house in a very Moorish style while adding Berber styled workshops from which he could paint and throw his time into producing artisanal type pieces inspired by the local culture and producing tourist media such as posters to help publicise Marrakesh.

Majorelle's Cubist Villa

The Cubist Villa was commissioned in 1931 and now forms the centre-piece. Balconies and a Pergola were added from 1933
The Cubist Villa was commissioned in 1931 and now forms the centre-piece. Balconies and a Pergola were added from 1933 | Source

1931 Addition of a cubist style villa

French architect Paul Sinoir was commisioned in 1931 to design a new villa for Majorelle in a cubist style near to his first home. After it's completion additional balconies and an additional Arabian pergola were constructed in 1933.

Around his home Majorelle had continued to develop expansive gardens featuring a plethora of different plant species from across the world. Majorelle was himself a very passionate amateur botanist and this is showcased by the garden today which has over 300 different plant species from across the world.

The Garden Is Home To Over 300 Plant Species

The most amazing personal pool in Marrakesh surrounded by over 300 different plant species. It's amazing if you're looking for Moroccan garden ideas
The most amazing personal pool in Marrakesh surrounded by over 300 different plant species. It's amazing if you're looking for Moroccan garden ideas | Source

1947- The Majorelle Garden's Opens To The Public

Despite it's immense beauty, the house and garden by 1947 had become an extreme strain on Majorelle's finances. It had become so expensive that he was forced to open the garden up to the public for a small entrance fee. Thus giving rise to one of the most visited attractions in Marrakesh.

Majorelle continued to cultivate the garden although was forced in 1956 to split up parts of the garden as a result of a costly divorce. In 1961 Majorelle was forced to sell his portion of the garden and it's villa due to ill health.

Placards Showcase The Flora And Fauna As Well As Their Origin

The plants in the Jardin Majorelle are showcased on signs with details of origin and names
The plants in the Jardin Majorelle are showcased on signs with details of origin and names | Source

Yves Saint Laurent And Pierre Bergé- 1980 onwards

Although first discovered on their travels within Marrakesh in 1966, it wasn't until 1980 when Yves Saint Laurent And Pierre Bergé purchased the Jardin Majorelle. It was at great risk of falling into the hands of a Hotel for redevelopment.

Quickly it's new owners decided that they wanted to make the Villa Bou Bou Saf their home (Although they actually renamed it Villa Oasis) and decided to partake in the mass restoration of the garden back to the vision shown by Majorelle.

Full Descriptive Signs

Signs showcase the plans on display in the garden
Signs showcase the plans on display in the garden | Source

The Berber Museum

Housed within a former painting studio of Jacques Majorelle lies the Berber Museum. The museum provides a fascinating showcase into Berber tribal life in Morocco and across North Africa.

The museum features a vast array of artifacts, many from the person collections of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé that showcase life in the form of clothing, textiles, manufacturing processes and the weapons of the tribes. The exhibition offers a fantastic insight into nomadic life.

The Berber Museum

The Berber Museum within the Majorelle Gardens, Marrakech
The Berber Museum within the Majorelle Gardens, Marrakech | Source

Jardin Majorelle Opening Times

If you're considering visiting the Jardin Majorelle- It's open every day of the year.

Autumn/ Winter Opening

October 1 – April 30: 08:00 – 17:30

Summer Months Opening

May 1 – September 30 : 08:00 hrs- 18:00

Ramadan Opening

During Ramadan: 09:00 – 17:00

Entry Charges

The entry is very reasonably priced in comparison to many Western tourist attractions

Garden Entry- 50 Dirhams

Entry to the Berber Museum- 25 Dirhams

What's The Best Time Of Day To Visit?

As with many tourist attractions you need to get up early to beat the masses as the Majorelle Gardens and Berber Museum can be very popular during the height of the day.

However the relaxed and tranquil nature of the gardens will make you feel unhurried and calm.

The Majorelle Gardens- A Must Do In Marrakesh

5 stars for Jardin Majorelle Marrakesh Tourist Attraction

Jardin Majorelle Location, Marrakesh

A
The Jardin Majorelle, Marrakesh:
Jardin Majorelle, Rue Yves Saint Laurent, Marrakesh, Morocco, 40090

get directions

The Location of the Jardin Majorelle- a calm amongst the hustle, bustle and chaos of Marrakesh.

B
Koutoubia Mosque:
Koutoubia Mosque, Avenue Mohammed V, Marrakesh, Morocco

get directions

The homing beacon of Marrakesh which is a great tool to help you find your way and never get completely lost.

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