Jardin Majorelle: YSL Gardens, Marrakech
Posted on 27 February 2017
One of the many highlights from my visit to Marrakech was having the opportunity to visit Jardin Majorelle, known to many as the Yves Saint Laurent gardens. Even if you are not familiar with this 12 acre slice of paradise, as one of Marrakech's most popular and iconic visitor destinations, it is quite likely that you have already seen photographs of friends and family posing next to the vivid blue walls of the museum and surrounding botanical garden.
From the moment you step into the garden, visitors are cut off from the outside world. Walking through towering arches of bamboo trees, noises of cars and busy life are erased, replaced by the soothing sounds of nature. Created by French painter Jacques Majorelle, the site boasts rare and unique plants from around the world, acquired by Majorelle during his travels, further fueling his passion for gardening over a forty year period that helped lay the foundations for the iconic garden that we can appreciate and experience today.
Sadly, after the death of Majorelle the garden fell into disrepair, though remained open to the public in a neglected state. Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé visited the garden in 1966 and immediately fell in love with it. Purchasing the site in 1980 to save it from a hotel development project, Laurent and Bergé worked tirelessly to restore the landscape, injecting life and beauty back into the grounds whilst respecting the original vision from Jacques Majorelle. The result of the passion, creativity and determination from these men have left us with the tranquil oasis that we are lucky enough to experience today. rich in history and full of charm.
For those traveling to Marrakech, a visit to the Majorelle garden is strongly advised. Whilst it can get very busy, there is plenty of space to walk around and enjoy the serenity and beauty of the grounds. If you are limited for time, it is possible to enjoy the experience within an hour, though at least two hours will allow for a leisurely stroll to take in the surroundings. There is also the Berber museum displaying an exclusive collection of Berber objects originating from diverse regions of Morocco, from the Rif to the Sahara. Tickets to the museum can be purchased at the gate at an additional cost.
Opening times vary throughout the year so check the official Jardin Majorelle website before visiting.
Photography: Martyn White