Art Deco design meets Moorish architecture in the one-of-a-kind Jardin Majorelle, one of Marrakech's most enchanting sites. A labor of love, created by French painter Jacques Majorelle over a period of forty years, the house and garden offer an oasis of calm in the heart of the city. The building is hard to miss decorated in electric blue, inspired by the artist's visits to the Atlas Mountains.
A garden oasis for artists
Majorelle fell in love with Marrakech in 1919, deciding to take up residence in the Medina Quarter. In 1931 architect Paul Sinoir was commissioned to build him a unique modern studio in the Art Deco style, where he could work in lush surroundings. He painted it the signature shade of "Majorelle blue" in 1937. The gardens evolved over the next few decades, including the addition of many different carefully crafted environments situated around a central pool; cactus, lilies and bamboo sit next to exotic coconut and banana trees, and the gardens are accented with tranquil ponds, lavish fountains and colorful ceramic art. The gardens were neglected after Majorelle's death in 1962 but were purchased and lovingly restored by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge in 1980. Today, this haven of YSL Marrakech is open to the public. You can wander through two and a half acres of exotic landscaping, featuring 300 species of plants from five different continents, all set off by the vibrant, surrealistic blue paint.
The Berber Museum
The artist's former studio is now home to a Berber Art Museum, which was opened in 2011. It showcases the rich and diverse history of Morocco's indigenous population through a display of art and artifacts. Sumptuous jewels, ornate traditional dress and fanciful musical instruments are on display here, and you can peruse a collection of reference books in the museum's library. Don't miss the chance to pick up some chic souvenirs in the onsite boutique, featuring high fashion slippers and gifts in signature Majorelle blue.