Morocco private tour
Marrakesh is among the cities that have a special magic of its own gathering tourists who come on Morocco tours around its monuments and parks. No travel package to the Moroccan Kingdom is comprehensive or complete without spending at least two nights in Marrakesh
Al Menara Garden and Badi Palace in Marrakesh Morocco
Al Menara Garden is a historical park rich with antiquities reflecting the history of Marrakesh. The Garden welcomes constant visitors everyday including a large number of tourists coming to spend their holidays in Morocco and many scholars as well who to study the antiquities located all over the park.
Menara Gardens is a public garden located in the Western section of Marrakesh 3 kilometers away from the center of the city. The gardens and the ruins of the Badi Palace are one of the most popular resorts of the locals in weekends and a famous touristic attraction for many travelers who go on Morocco tours.
With the development taking place in the whole city of Marrakesh, many governmental authorities and private sector organizations have exerted their efforts to make use of the monuments of the city to attract tourists from all over the world coming to spend their vacations in Morocco.
These efforts exerted over many years of hard work made the Menara Garden host many international artistic festivals.
According to historical sources, Almohad King, Abel Al Moe'men, has ordered his men to dig two large deep lakes; one of them was outside the city of Marrakech, to assist the cattlemen in their work, and another inside his royal garden with the name Menara. However, the lake was never called the Menara until the period of the Marinids who ruled over the kingdom from the 13th till the 15th century.
Abel Moe'men wouldn't have ever imagined that one of his lakes would in the future be a wonderful garden with thousands of tourists visiting it as part of their travel packages to Morocco.
Thanks to the Alaouite Sultan, Mohamed Ibn Abdel Rahman as most of what we see in the Menara gardens today dates back to his achievements that still amaze the guests of the garden coming from all over the world to spend a trip in Morocco.
Sultan Mohamed, who ruled Morocco from 1859 till 1873, was able to repair the lake established by Almohads. He restored the huge walls of the fence that protects around 96 hectares of gardens and orchards. Sultan Mohamed has also added a royal suit, a security center, and a horse's stable at the edges of the Menara Lake, which 200 meters in length and 150 meters wide.
The walls of the royal suit of the Menara Lake were made out of thick rocks, the corners were made out of bricks, and the pyramid shaped ceiling was constructed with special green blocks of stones.
This royal suit was designed to have two floors; a ground floor that consists of a rectangular open courtyard overlooking the lake with a waiting room at the back. The upper floor of the royal suit contains an isolated square room with a large balcony opening on the lake. Many private tours in Morocco can be organized to visit the garden and the nearby antiquities
The name Al Badi Palace
The word "Badi", which is among the Names of Allah, means the most wonderful and adorable. The palace was named that way because of its beautiful decorations, architectural works, and gardens.
In other historical records, according to the local language of the Moroccans in Marrakesh, the word "Al Kaser Al Badi" stands for the palace of porcelain and due to the rich ceramics ornaments of the palace, the local inhabitants of the area gave it this title.
The construction of the Badi Palace
The Badi Palace was erected by Ahmed Mansur Al Zahby, the Saadi King who ruled over Morocco from 1578 till 1603. The general plan of the palace shows that the architectural engineer that was responsible for designing it was rather Andalusian, or perhaps a refugee that resorted to the city from Granda or from the Moriscos.
In the forth of October 1578, the Saadi King, Ahmed Al Mansur was able to defeat the Portuguese in the battle of Al Kaser Al Kebir, or the Battle of the three kings, when Sebastian, the king who ruled Portugal at the time tried to take control of the Moroccan shores. Al Mansur had a great victory over the Portuguese army dispossessing them of all their ownerships in the region.
After this victory, the King Ahmed was named "Al Mansur" or the victorious due to being famous all over the old world for defeating the crusaders army and all the residence of Northern Africa gave homage to him, he decided to construct a luxurious palace for receptions. The building work of the palace went on for more than 16 years before the Badi Palace was officially finished and furnished.
The construction works of the Badi Palace involved many workers and builders from Northern Africa and Europe. Historians have noted that Italian worker near the City of Piza have sculpted fifty huge marble columns for the king of Morocco at the time. These columns were afterwards transferred to Marrakesh in exchange with a large quantity of sugar. Other Arabian historians have recorded that many European builders were brought to Marrakesh to help in the construction of the Badi Palace.
The Badi Palace has hosted all the major celebrations and official ceremonies of the Saadi kings and rulers for more than 75 years. The palace was well known after this period for the wastefulness of its rulers and the amounts of money they have spent on their parties was totally exaggerated. This fact forced Ismail, the Alaouite king, who ruled over Morocco from 1672 till 1727, to destroy the palace.
The Badi Palace in the past and today
Nothing remains of the Badi Palace today except parts of the walls of the palace which is two meters thick, an arena with some ruins of two huge water tanks, and one of the royal suits of the palace that still preserves some marble, ceramics, and Gypsum decorations. Some travelers who are fond of history insist to visit the ruins of the palace as part of their Morocco travel tours.
The studies implemented over the Badi Palace have discovered that it originally had two general designs, an Italian one and a British one. The records and sayings that the visitors of the palace during the 75 years when it was the most wonderful royal palace in northern African have provided us with a detailed description of the Badi palace.
The palace had a rectangular shape with 135 meters length and 110 meters wide. It included a huge central water tank with 90 meters length and 20 meters wide. The garden of the palace had a large scale fountain and a lower layer of land where many roses and flowers all around it. Four small decorated water tanks used to provide the water for the fountain. Some of the ornaments of these tanks are still present until today.
The Eastern section of the palace used to overlook a big garden that was called the "Balour", or the crystal gardens.
The dome of the suit was simply decorated with simple colorful geometric shapes consisting mainly of thin lines of different colors of paint.
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