Welcome to the Bahia Palace

The Bahia Palace is a 19th century building, consisting of rooms decorated with stunning stuccos, paintings and mosaics palace and a set of gardens located in Marrakech, Morocco. The Bahia Palace was intended to be the greatest palace of its time. The name of the Bahia Palace means in Arabic “brilliance”. As in other buildings of the period in other countries, it was intended to capture the essence of the Islamic and Moroccan style. There is a 2-acre (8,000 m²) garden with rooms opening onto courtyards in the Bahia Palace.

The Bahia Palace was Set up at the end of the 19th century by Si Moussa, grand vizir of the sultan, for his personal use, the Bahia palace would bear the name of one of his wives. Here, the harem, which includes a vast court decorated with a central basin and surrounded by rooms intended for the concubines. As the black slave Abu Ahmed rose to power and wealth towards the end of the 19th century, he had the Bahia palace built by bringing in craftsmen from Fez.

When Morocco gained independence from France in 1956, the Bahia palace was used as a royal residence, until King Hassan II transferred it to the custody of the Moroccan Ministry of Culture, so the building could serve as a cultural icon and tourist attraction.

The Bahia palace is divided into different rooms such as the Hall for businesses and administrative purposes; the 4 rooms for his wives which are equal in size, meaning all 4 wives are equal in status; the quarter for his 24 concubines, with 12 rooms to share (2 concubines in 1 room) and a dining room; the School, where Abu’s sons and daughters are taught by their teachers and turned into a mosque 5 times a day for praying; and Abu’s own quarters, where there is his summer room with windows and a smaller one for winter without any windows, as well as his very own private dining room.

The oldest part of the Bahia palace complex, completed in 1867 by Si Moussa, a former slave who rose through the ranks to become one of Sultan Hassan I’s most important aides. The riad’s salon is bedecked with carved wood lintels, zouak artistry and stained-glass detailing – Bahia Palace was thought to be the first building in North Africa to use stained glass as a decorative feature.

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