Petit Futé's opinion on JARDIN MAJORELLE
The spirit of the French Orientalist through a bucolic walk in a garden in the city centre: sumptuous and unique.
Enchantment: this is the term chosen to describe the Majorelle garden. The beauty of its exotic plants and the inventiveness of their arrangement make this place an invitation to contemplation and reverie. This haven of peace and greenery was created in the 1920s by the French painter Jacques Majorelle, botanist and great lover of Moroccan flora. Arriving in Marrakech in 1917 to treat his tuberculosis, Majorelle travelled around the country, sketching scenes of daily life, before creating the ceiling of the restaurant of the Hotel Mamounia and acquiring this property. It was around his villa-workshop, designed in 1931 by the architect Paul Sinoir, that he planted the rarest species, from the Moroccan soil or from more exotic places: bougainvilleas, banana trees, palm trees, giant bamboos, yuccas, philodendrons, geraniums, among other species. After Majorelle's death in 1962, the garden fell into disrepair and the lush vegetation was almost entirely replanted by the new owners of the place: Yves Saint-Laurent and Pierre Bergé. More than 300 species of plants now grow, in the ground or in large, colourful surrealist pots. It is in the garden that the ashes of the couturier, who died in 2008, also lie. In the hot hours of the day, the Majorelle garden is crowded with visitors who come to get a touch of freshness near the countless basins and ponds where papyrus and water lilies bloom. Majorelle's former workshop, adjacent to a pergola furnished in the purest Art Deco style and with walls of a surprising royal blue (Majorelle blue), is now transformed into a small museum of Berber Art, after having long been a museum of Islamic Art. Inaugurated in December 2011, this 200 m² museum houses Pierre Bergé's personal collections. Fascinated by Berber culture and art, he has gathered here some 600 objects acquired during his various journeys from the Rif to the Sahara. Visitors are invited to discover the culture of the Imazighen (Berbers) through four thematic rooms. Maps, explanatory cartels (in French, English and Arabic), photographs, archive films and audiovisual documents accompany the scenography of the route. The museum exit is via the small bookshop, which offers a fine selection of works on this culture. The income generated by the foundation has enabled the construction of the Yves Saint-Laurent Museum, inaugurated on 19 October 2017 by Princess Lalla Salma.
Information on JARDIN MAJORELLE
Open from October 1st to April 30th from 8am to 5:30pm and from May 1st to September 30th from 8am to 6pm. Month of Ramadan: open from 9am to 5pm. Entry DH50 (+ DH25 for the Berber art museum).
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