Architecture in Marrakech

Jasmin Bollman

Posted on June 08 2014

Marrakech, Morocco is awash in architectural magnificence. From the world famous medina in the center of the city to the gloriously stunning gates of the Marrakech ramparts, your eyes will always have something to feast on in this inspiring and mystical north African city.

The Royal Palace, although not open to the public, is still a tourist draw for its imposing and elaborate entrance. Used as a winter retreat for members of the royal family for centuries, the Royal Palace is one of the largest of its kind in all of Morocco. Marrakech boasts several other palaces of increasing magnificence, including the Bahia Palace that was constructed in the late 19th century. With a name that translates to "brilliance", it's not a surprise that this palace took seven years to build. The results are breathtaking, with a courtyard that truly captures the intricacy and elegance of Moroccan architecture.

While in Marrakech, it's not just the ancient architecture that inspires awe. With over 400 hotels to choose from in this vibrant city, a true standout is the Hôtel La Mamounia. Built in 1925, this ode to art deco and Moroccan styles is a sight to behold. Called the "grand dame of Marrakech hotels", its fabulously ornamented lobby has seen the likes of Winston Churchill and Mick Jagger strolling through.

If you're looking to experience the kind of jaw-dropping astonishment that can only come from seeing something of almost mythical elegance, you'll want to visit (at least) one of the 20 gates in the Marrakech ramparts. Located in the medina, these ancient defensive walls are best viewed by caleche (a horse-drawn carriage). Constructed of pisé, or red clay, the gates date all the way back to the 12th century. Tourists are drawn to the gates in the twilight hours, just as the sun is setting. The reflection of the waning sun on the gloriously red clay brings the city to life in a magical way.

If you're keen on exploring the history of Morocco, the Dar Si Said Museum is chock-full of luxurious jewelry, ornate carpets, oil lamps, pottery and intricate leatherworks. The museum itself is bathed in traditional Moroccan architecture, literally bursting at the seams with glorious colours. The Marrakech museum, located in the Dar Menebhi Palace, is similar in architectural splendour, boasting gigantic fountains and finely-detailed tiling.

Visiting Marrakech is a must for anyone who is fascinated and inspired by architecture that seems to know no bounds. While exploring the streets of this world-class city, it's best to look the part. The Shabby Apple Marrakech Collection has breezy and vividly coloured pieces that will suit your unique style and keep you in tune with the hum of the city. 

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