No visit to Marrakesh is complete without at least one insta-worthy picture taken at the famous Jardin Majorelle, one of the city’s busiest tourist attractions. And then there’s the piece of forgotten history on the other side of its gate…
The enchanting garden was established in the twenties by French painter, explorer and botanical enthusiast Jacques Majorelle, who surrounded his house and atelier with thousands of exotic plants brought to him from all over the world. He managed to build his own little wonderland, but his family lost big parts of it to shady real estate dealers in the eighties.
The place was saved from being chopped up into building lots by Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé in 1980, who established their famous Villa Oasis and established a Berber museum in one of the ateliers. The garden itself was completely restored to its former glory, including grand bassins and walls in signature “Majorelle blue”.
After Yves Saint Laurent’s passing an entire museum, situated just next to the garden, was dedicated to his oeuvre and his Marrakech days, the already iconic YSL museum.
Both places attract flocks of tourists nowadays, but if you want a taste of the original sight, try to pay a visit to the descendants of Jaques Majorelle, who still live and work in the one part of the garden he didn’t sell off.
This little piece of heaven, complete with an enchanting greenhouse-turned-atelier, may look a bit derelict compared to what lies on the other side of the gate, but it was untouched for all these years and thus still reflects the authentic charm of the Jardin.
Worth the visit, both sides of the gate!