El Badi Palace, also known as the “incomparable palace,” is a historic palace in Marrakech, Morocco, known for its impressive size and grandeur. Here’s a closer look at the palace’s history and what visitors can expect to see when exploring this iconic landmark.
History and Culture
El Badi Palace was built in the late 16th century by the Saadian Sultan Ahmed al-Mansour to commemorate his victory over the Portuguese army. The palace was designed to showcase the wealth and power of the Saadian dynasty, and its construction took over 25 years to complete.
Over the years, the palace served as a center of royal power and a site for important political and cultural events. However, by the 17th century, the palace had fallen into disrepair, and much of its valuable artwork and furnishings had been looted.
In the 20th century, the palace was restored by the Moroccan government, and today it stands as a testament to the country’s rich cultural heritage.
Design and Features
El Badi Palace is known for its grand size and striking design. The palace was built on a massive scale, with over 300 rooms, multiple courtyards, and a large central pool.
One of the most impressive features of the palace is the Koutoubia Minbar, a carved wooden pulpit that was once located in the Koutoubia Mosque. The pulpit was looted during the reign of Moulay Ismail and later restored and placed in the palace’s central courtyard.
Another notable feature of the palace is the Saadian Tombs, a group of tombs that date back to the 16th century and were discovered in the 20th century. The tombs are known for their intricate decoration and beautiful tilework.
Visiting El Badi Palace
El Badi Palace is open to visitors every day of the week, with guided tours available in several languages. Visitors can explore the palace’s expansive courtyards and rooms, take in the stunning tilework and decoration, and learn about the palace’s rich history and culture.
The palace also includes a small museum that showcases some of the artifacts and artwork that have been recovered from the site.
El Badi Palace is a must-see destination for anyone interested in Morocco’s rich cultural heritage. Its grand size and striking design make it a unique and unforgettable experience, and its history and cultural significance offer visitors a glimpse into the country’s past.