DAR SI SAÏD MUSEUM
Petit Futé's opinion on DAR SI SAÏD MUSEUM
One reaches Dar Si Saïd (renamed National Museum of Weaving and Carpets) by crossing Bab Falkten, the door that faces the square, and entering the Diour Saboune ("where the clothes are washed") district, one of the liveliest in the medina. Turn right at the Derb Nakoss. If you follow the Riad Zitoun-el-Jdid street straight ahead, you will reach the Jemaâ el-Fna square. Bab Falkten is one of the oldest gates of Marrakech and few Marrakchis still remember its name. It is here, in Diour Saboune, that the laundresses came to wash clothes for the community. And it was at Bab Falkten that merchants of white djellabas and exclusively white clothes gathered. From Bab Falkten, Dar Si Saïd is very well indicated: take the first alley on your left, at the level of a small fountain, and admire the cedar doors and the red facades of these houses, more than two centuries old, once owned by the wealthy families of Marrakech. The entrance to the Dar Si Said museum is about 50 metres further on. This is the oldest museum in the city and after an extraordinary restoration, it reopened its doors in 2018. It offers, beyond its admirable architecture and the spirit of the place kept intact, a cultural journey through the thousand-year-old heritage of weaving carried through the generations.
History: Built in the late nineteenth century to house the brother of the Grand Vizier Ba Ahmed, Si Said Ben Moussa, Minister of War under his regency, Dar Si Said is transformed into the seat of successive chiefs of the region under the Protectorate. In 1932, the palace is assigned to the Fine Arts and Antiquities and will serve as an office. All the Marrakchi handicrafts - and those of southern Morocco (especially from the Tensift, Sous, Tafilalet regions) - are represented in the 2,800 m² of the museum. The visit begins with the long entrance corridor in which a Berber travel chest and a series of traditional house doors made of walnut or cedar wood from the Atlas villages and kasbahs of the South are displayed.
The carpet is one of the essential components of the movable heritage. The exhibition presented is divided into two parts: the first highlights the richness and great diversity of Moroccan weaving. The second axis is dedicated to the carpet as a real social and historical milestone.
In the room on the ground floor, which extends the corridor, you can see four wooden gondolas traditionally used for merry-go-rounds and children's swings. This leads to a magnificent interior patio, surrounded by four rooms and flowered with bougainvilleas, jasmines and daturas. Birds from the surrounding area come to find refuge in the 19th century bandstand, located in the centre of the garden and transformed into a pond lined with zellige patterns.
In the first room, on the right as you enter the riad, the traditional clothing of the Berbers, and ceremonial objects worn during wedding ceremonies are displayed. You will also see many silk belts embroidered with gold thread. The authenticity of all this know-how can be seen in the materials used (leather, brocades...) and the products made (handiras, caftans...). The next room, dedicated to copperware, contains kitchen utensils from the countryside (made of tin) and the city (made of copper and maillechort from Marrakech). The third room displays traditional weapons: daggers with curved blades set with onyx from the Berbers of Ourika, powder moukkalas and flints from the soldiers of the past... Finally, the fourth room presents a remarkable collection of jewellery from southern Morocco, grouped by region: enamel pieces from the Tiznit region, filigree jewellery from Ouarzazate and the Drâ, necklaces and fibulas designed to fix the haik of Berber women, frontal tiaras from the Tafilalet... The whole comes from the collections of the National Museum Foundation.
A small staircase leads to the first floor where the apartments of Si Saïd, the first owner of the place, were located. The Hispano-Moorish decoration is nothing exceptional (apart from the Italian chandelier - which lights up the room - and the twisted iron moucharabiehs ), but the carpets that cover the floor are worthy of attention. The two wooden niches, which frame the room, are not (as some unscrupulous guides claim) prayer niches, but places where the great chamberlain used to set up musicians to entertain his long summer (and winter) evenings.
On the second floor are stored beautiful carpets from Marrakech and the surrounding area. Morocco is distinguished by two main categories of works: the city carpet (whose origin would go back to Asia Minor) and the rural carpet (simple and symbolic motifs). Chichaoua rural carpets woven in strips on a red background, nomadic carpets with knotted dots with geometric (a mark of antiquity, it seems) and figurative decorations. From the first floor, a superb view extends over the medina. In the foreground, the palace in the shape of a kasbah is that of Sidi Madani el-Glaoui.
Goingback down to the ground floor , you will see yet another collection of carpets (glaoua carpets from the High Atlas and the Tazenakht region) and, next to the few wood panelling recovered from the ruins of the El Badi palace, the traditional clothing of the Berbers Aït Haouzguit, burnous and haiks
Book your trip !
- Maritime crossing
Find a hotel
Experiences & Boxes
Book a table
Activities & Visits
Opening time and information on DAR SI SAÏD MUSEUM
Open from 10am to 6pm. 20 DH adult rate, 10 DH children. Weekly closing on Tuesday.
Members' reviews on DAR SI SAÏD MUSEUM
Learn more about Marrakech
Selection Sightseeing Marrakech
PLACE JEMAÂ EL-FNARue, place, quartier...Marrakech - Morocco
JARDIN MAJORELLEParc - JardinMarrakech - Morocco
JARDIN ANIMAParc - JardinMarrakech - Morocco
Selection Accommodation Marrakech
LE RIHANIHôtelMarrakech - Morocco
SOFITEL MARRAKECH PALAI...HôtelMarrakech - Morocco
RIAD MARIANAHôtelMarrakech - Morocco
Selection Restaurants Marrakech
CAFÉ LE BOUGAINVILLIERCuisines du mondeMarrakech - Morocco
RESTAURANT ANGSANA SI S...Restaurant marocainMarrakech - Morocco
TERRASSE DES ÉPICESCuisines du mondeMarrakech - Morocco