El Badi Palace, Marrakech

El Badi Palace, Marrakech (must see)

All that remains of the once proud El Badi Palace are the extensive ruins and when you visit it and walk among the remains, spare a thought for the ghosts of past splendors.

Fresh from his victory over the Portuguese in the Battle of the Three Kings in 1572, the Sultan Ahmed el-Massour of the Saadian Dynasty, ordered the palace to be built in celebration. He wanted it to be the most important building in Marrakech and named it “Incomparable”, but sadly he died before its completion in 1603.

Today it is hard to imagine just how magnificent this palace was with its 360 rooms around the interior courtyard that measured 135 meters by 110 meters and was full of fountains and an enormous pond.

Most of it was paid for by the punishing reparation debt imposed on Portugal after the battle; the mosaics came from Italy, exchanged against sugar in lieu of money and the gold fittings came from the gold mines in Sudan. There was an underground prison for those who fell from the sultan’s favor.

In 1683, after the Saadian Dynasty fell to the Alaouites, the new Sultan Moulay Ismail removed anything that had any value from the palace to decorate his new palace in another town and El Badi slowly fell into ruins.

Extensive restoration work has allowed for the rebuilding of one of the pavilions where you can see a Minbar from the Koutoubia Mosque; further ongoing work has seen the restoration of the pools and some of the walls, where now only storks live.

Why You Should Visit:
Huge and beautiful palace to wander around with lots to see including a network of underground tunnels and a well-preserved minbar.

Tip:
The internal staircase on the northeast side takes you up to a rooftop where you can view the Palace from up high and gaze across the rooftops of Marrakech. Storks can also be viewed.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am-5pm

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour in Marrakech, Morocco, in the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded on iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline so no data plan is needed.

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Sight Map

Sight Name: El Badi Palace
Sight Location: Marrakech, Morocco
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) containing this sight: City Orientation Walk   Marrakech's Palaces Tour   Moroccan Architecture Tour in Marrakech  

Walking Tours in Marrakech, Morocco

Create Your Own Walk in Marrakech

Create Your Own Walk in Marrakech

Creating your own self-guided walk in Marrakech is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Religious Walking Tour in Marrakech

Religious Walking Tour in Marrakech

Morocco's official religion is Islam. Therefore the most numerous religious structures in Marrakech are the mosques. This tour will introduce you to the most famous of them, as well as to some historic cemeteries, koubbas, and mausoleums. Prepare yourself to learn about the history of Islam and enjoy the architecture of Marrakech's religious attractions by taking the tour below.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 km
Medina Walking Tour in Marrakech

Medina Walking Tour in Marrakech

Dating back to the 19th century, Marrakech's Medina reveals an old Islamic capitol featuring important architectural historic and cultural sights, surrounded by beautiful ramparts. In 1985 it was listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. This walking tour will take you to the most popular attractions in the south part of Medina.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 km
Shopping Adventure in Marrakech

Shopping Adventure in Marrakech

Probably no shopping in your life will compare to this extraordinary experience: vivid, bright, juicy colors of carpets, clothes and shoes; enchanting smells of local perfumes and spices; crafts, handmade jewelry, pottery; and of course, the long shopping mazes and souks. All this is included in the tour below, so don't hesitate! This tour belongs on your "must do" list!

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 km
City Orientation Walk

City Orientation Walk

Also known as "The Red City", Marrakech is an out-of-the-ordinary getaway which combines the old historic atmosphere of Medina with a lively modern tourist sights of Gueliz. Take this orientation walk and discover the most popular attractions Marrakech has to offer, as listed below.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.6 km
Cultural Walking Tour in Marrakech

Cultural Walking Tour in Marrakech

One of the first things your thirsty, adventurous mind starts wondering about when arriving in a new city is the culture of its people, especially when the city you're in is Marrakech. Everything here seems unique and authentic, blending together traditional African style and European influences. Take the tour below and enjoy the best of Marrakech's culture.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 km
North Medina Walking Tour in Marrakech

North Medina Walking Tour in Marrakech

Since 1985 the Medina of Marrakech has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Walk the narrow streets and discover the best of cultural, historic, and religious sights in the north part of Medina. Take the time to explore the Dar Si Said and learn about Morocco's art. And of course don't hesitate to enjoy all the souks and shops along your journey. Just take the North Medina Walking Tour in Marrakech.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 km