Designed by the French painter Jacques Majorelle, Majorelle Garden is a meticulously planned 12-acre botanical garden created by its namesake in the 1920s and 30s
Yves Saint Laurent’s Horticulturalist Paradise
Jardin Majorelle; Rue Yves Saint Laurent, off Avenue Yacoub el Mansour, www.jardinmajorelle.com; open daily
Designed by the French painter Jacques Majorelle, Majorelle Garden is a meticulously planned 12-acre botanical garden created by its namesake in the 1920s and 30s. It was bought by Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Berge in 1980; the haute couture designer restored the place to its former glory that we now enjoy.
Majorelle lived in Marrakech for over 40 years, creating the place in the 1930s. Its famous features are colored in a particular shade of cobalt blue, now known as “Majorelle blue”. This is best exemplified in the Moorish pavilion at the heart of the garden.
Plants from all five continents reside in this contemplative place in the heart of the city. Horticulturalists would be in paradise wandering through the forest of South Asian bamboo along curved pathways dotted with bright turquoise and cobalt pots overflowing with geraniums and succulents.
At the cactus garden, rare specimens from across the world have been brought in, as well as dozens of different types of palm from California to the Canaries. Basins, fountains and ponds are filled with aquatic plants to inspire any Monet disciple, while 15 different species of birds chirping overhead.
A recent addition has been placed at a shady corner of the garden: the stone memorial to Yves Saint Laurent who died in 2008, and whose ashes were scattered here, in the place he loved above all others.
After exploring the site’s outdoor portion, step into the blue pavilion housing Sant Laurent and Berge’s fantastic collection of Islamic art (the Musee d’Art Islamique). Ceramics, weapons, jewellery, textiles, carpets and woodwork from the Maghreb, Africa and Asia sit here, as well as Jacques Majorelle’s art. You’ll also find riveting photographs of Saint Laurent’s glamorous life set in 1970s-1990s Morocco.
Eat: The pretty bougainvillea-covered courtyard cafe is a gorgeous place to stop for tea or a good lunch. Just outside the gardens, you will also find a cluster of stylish cafes and shops.
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