Top 7 museums in Marrakech to discover the Moroccan history
Packed with architecture, art, history, sciences and much more, Marrakech truly is a city with a rich cultural heritage. There are numerous museums to discover in Morocco's former imperial capital, but today, we will introduce you to the best ones in the red city.
Marrakech museums reflect the features of the modern architecture and the history of the city, and a visit to any of the following museums is a unique and exciting adventure.
1. The Berber (Amazigh) Museum
This museum is located in the heart of the Majorelle Garden in the old painting studio of Jacques Majorelle (the founder, A french painter. ), and it is dedicated to the Berbers and their tribes, cultures, and traditions. The Berber Museum, inaugurated in 2011 under the High Patronage of Mohammed VI, King of Morocco. It presents a panorama of the extraordinary creativity of the Berbers, the most ancient people of North Africa.
The museum displays more than 600 objects such as carpets, costumes, jewelry, teapot, etc..., collected from the Rif Mountains to the Sahara by Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint Laurent, attest to the richness and diversity of this vibrant culture, which is still very much alive today. The collection is displayed in four distinct spaces, each devoted to a particular theme. Before entering the exhibition rooms, you are presented with an overview of the history of the Berber people of Morocco as well as a map showing the location of the major Berber tribes throughout the country. Audiovisual elements are used in the museum to enhance visitors’ appreciation of Berber culture.
2. Marrakesh Museum
Marrakesh Museum is located near the Ben Youssef Islamic school. The museum is housed in the Menbhi Palace (Dar Menbhi), and It was built at the end of the nineteenth century by Mehdi Menbhi, The Minister of Defense during the reign of Sultan Moulay Abd al-Aziz. The palace was carefully restored by the Omar Benjelloun Foundation and converted into a museum in 1997.
Al-Menbhi Palace was distinguished as being constructed in the style of Moroccan urban buildings on an area of 2000 square meters, and its four rooms were organized around an open courtyard, in addition to that, it included a traditional Hammam (Bathroom), a roundabout, and a stable. The museum holds exhibits of both modern and traditional Moroccan art together with fine examples of historical books, coins and pottery of Berber, Moroccan Jewish and Islamic cultures.
3. Dar Si-Said Museum
The Museum “Dar Si Said” is one of the finest examples of the Moroccan traditional houses in the city of Marrakesh. It is located to the north of the Bahia Palace. It was the townhouse of Sidi Said, brother to Grand Vizier Bow Ahmad, and was constructed at the same time as Ahmad's own Palace De La Bahia in the second half of the nineteenth century. After the death of its owner in 1914, this historic house became a property of the Sultan ( Abd al-Aziz) of Marrakesh region at hat time.
The collection of the museum is considered to be one of the finest in Morocco, with jewellery from the High Atlas, the Anti Atlas and the extreme south; carpets from the Haouz and the High Atlas regions; oil lamps from Taroudannt city; blue pottery from Safi city and green pottery from Tamgroute; and leatherwork from Marrakesh.
4. Boucharouite Museum
Berber boucharouites (rag rugs made from recycled cloth) may be a poor cousin to the famous jewel-toned Moroccan carpets, but this beautifully collated gallery housed in an 18th-century riad displays the artistry of this lesser-known craft. The museum is the work of avid collector Patrick de Maillard, and in addition to boucharouites, the rooms are scattered with a lovely jumble of Moroccan popular art, from agricultural implements to painted doors. The terrace upstairs serves refreshments.
The Boucharouite Museum is dedicated to all forms of Popular Art.Its collection mainly concerns rag rugs, sheer jewels of creativity weaved or embroidered by women, not usually educated in the very practice of their art, and yet, that manage to craft these exceptional pieces from their own recycled clothes.
5. Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden ( MACAAL )
This museum is located in the Sidi Youssef Ben Ali, district of Marrakech, covering an area of 6000 m². It is dedicated to the promotion of African contemporary art through its continuous support for leading artists from Morocco and neighboring countries and the public display of their works. MACAAL showcases art from Morocco and its neighboring countries across a range of media. In addition to the permanent collection, exhibitions focus on art which engages in a dialogue with the continent, including African and international artists.
The museum’s collection, consisting of digital art, painting, sculpture and video, illustrates the Foundation Alliances’ commitment to providing universally accessible contemporary art, while supporting cultural development in Morocco.
6. The Palm Grove Museum
Established in 2011 by abderrazzak Benchaâbane, the Palm grove Museum is the first space of permanent exhibition dedicated to the contemporary art of Marrakesh. at the gates of the Palm grove in a two hectare park at the heart of Douar Tounsi, contemporary art and nature answer and complement each other through various spaces.
The exhibitions of the works of about forty Moroccan artists, are presented in the old farm buildings. The Museum also organizes temporary exhibitions. The two hectares of the park are structured in thematic gardens. Dry garden and garden of water, vegetable garden and orchard, odorous roses and Andalusian garden transport the visitor in natural environments which call back the nature of yesterday and the one more tamed of today of the palm grove.
7. Mohamed VI Museum of the Water Civilization
The Mohammed VI Museum of Water Civilization in Marrakech explores Morocco’s management of one of the world’s most vital resources - water. Sitting in palm-dotted gardens, the cutting-edge museum charts everything from the country’s history of water usage and hydraulics to the legends and mysteries of this vital, life-giving substance.
With exhibitions extending across its three huge floors and surrounding gardens, the museum has much to offer. Visitors can view artifacts and multimedia shows tracing the history of Morocco’s hydraulics technology and its management of water past, present, and future. View models and displays illustrating how ancient peoples harnessed water from the desert; trace King Mohammed VI’s investment in innovative hydraulics; and discover what Morocco is now doing to conserve water.