Finding Design Inspiration in Marrakech: The Bahia Palace

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Bahia Palace, Marrakech

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this, but one of the 5 reasons why I’m traveling around the world is to get inspired. And that’s why I ended up in Morocco.

Ever since I visited the Great Mosque of Paris, I’ve been interested and intrigued by Muslim art and design. Add in my interest in discovering new foods (see 5 reasons why I’m traveling) and there’s no wonder I ended up in Morocco.

Marrakech is undoubtedly the capital of tourism for Morocco. With a population over 1 million, the modern part of the city houses ritzy hotels, shops & even clubs like Pacha. The medina is home to Africa’s largest square Djemma el Fna which, in my mind, is exactly how Morocco is and was. (I can credit this to Hitchcock’s “The Man Who Knew Too Much”.)

Before arriving in Marrakech, I’d heard it was a bit overrated and a little too turistic. I actually rather enjoyed it and it was my favorite city in Morocco. I spent just 5 and a half days there and still didn’t get to see everything I would’ve liked to. Next time.

One place I did get to was the Bahia Palace. It’s a 19th century palace with elaborate detailed engravings, gardens & even a harem. For just about $1 USD I was able to wander through the many rooms and gardens. There were a lot of similar Islamic designs I’d seen in Granada, Seville and the rest of southern Spain, but it was nice to see it in its original Moroccan setting. Maybe not as elaborate or as well set up for tourists like the Alcazar de Seville or the Alahambra in Granada, but beautiful nonetheless.

Bahia Palace

Bahia Palace

Bahia Palace

Bahia Palace

Bahia Palace

Bahia Palace

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18 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Interesting take on this city. Looks very interesting… I am so excited to go to Morocco and visit many of the cities. Thanks for posting these on my FB page. I also love that you are looking for design inspiration while you travel. I had forgot thats something you do.

  2. Interesting take on this city. Looks very interesting… I am so excited to go to Morocco and visit many of the cities. Thanks for posting these on my FB page. I also love that you are looking for design inspiration while you travel. I had forgot thats something you do.

  3. Interesting take on this city. Looks very interesting… I am so excited to go to Morocco and visit many of the cities. Thanks for posting these on my FB page. I also love that you are looking for design inspiration while you travel. I had forgot thats something you do.

  4. Interesting take on this city. Looks very interesting… I am so excited to go to Morocco and visit many of the cities. Thanks for posting these on my FB page. I also love that you are looking for design inspiration while you travel. I had forgot thats something you do.

    • Enjoy Morocco while you’re there Jaime! Wish I had more than the 10 or so days I spent there last year.

  5. Yep, it was definitely relatively easy to find alcohol in Marrakech. So long as you're in the right places.

  6. Yet again you describe another place I’d like to go to. Do the nightclubs serve alcohol?

  7. It's one of the cheapest & easiest tourist attractions in Marrakech, Susan, so it's definitely do-able!

  8. Thanks Melissa. It's impossible to imagine people spending money on such fine & intricate details… which is a real shame. I've always loved architecture so I can generally find beauty in a lot of the different styles, but Islamic architecture is something else.

  9. Hey Sasha,

    I love the V&A – I think they have a giant Islamic carpet in there somewhere. I remember seeing it when I was there in 2006.

  10. Thanks Matt!

    Morocco is a magical place, if not entirely super touristic as well.

  11. Thanks Matt!

    Morocco is a magical place, if not entirely super touristic as well.

  12. Hi Giulia, you're so right! There's no need for sculpture in the Mosques because the buildings themselves are so beautiful.

  13. I need to add that to my trip in September.

  14. These are great pics. I love the colors and the intricacy of the work. These picture serves as one of those examples of why it's awesome to travel – you just don't see that kind of architecture in Boston. Well, maybe in Boston, but certainly not here in Nevada! Imagine how much it would cost to have your patio done up in tile like that. :-)

  15. The geometry and colours of Islamic art and design is just gorgeous! I remember seeing a display at the V&A a few years back, blew me away! Gorgeous pics!!!

  16. Nice shots. Would love to get to Morocco someday soon. Safe travels!

  17. I love the Arabic design and how they beautifully decorate Mosques even without the help of depictions of divinities, Gods, Saints etc (like in churches) – you don't miss any of them coz the design is just amazing as it is…

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