Bahia Palace


The Bahia Palace is a palace and a set of gardens located very close to El Badi Palace and still within walking distance of the Kasbah and Riad Laksiba. In fact this makes for a very interesting detour route to the Jemaa el-fna (Main Square). If you wandered to El Badi Palace initially, when you exit to go to the Bahia Palace you will cross a square called Place de Flabentiers (place of the metalworkers), somewhere I choose to eat lunch regularly in the food stalls located in one corner of the square. This square also hosts Kosy Bar, a very popular restaurant. Next to the square you will also find La Tangier restaurant which is also popular.

It was built in the late 19th century, intended to be the greatest palace of its time. The name means “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.

Set up at the end of 19th century by Si Moussa, grand vizier of the sultan, for his personal use, this 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. The structures tell a lot about the taste of the nouveau-riche of its time, and can appear vulgar to modern tastes. It was intended to become the greatest palace of its time, but it is really dominated by hasty planning as well as uninspired detail work.