Jardin Majorelle is a highly popular tourist attraction in Morocco, originally purchased by French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé in 1980 with the intention of preserving the original vision of Jacques Majorelle, a French landscape painter. The garden, which houses an array of plant species from five continents and Majorelle’s electric-blue art deco studio, also contains the Musée Berbère, showcasing the rich heritage of Morocco’s indigenous population through over 600 artifacts. Despite the growing crowds, the garden retains its unique charm, and the YSL Foundation has recently opened up the section containing Villa Oasis to provide more space for visitors. The garden is also home to a café, a book and photography shop, and a boutique selling merchandise inspired by YSL designs.
How to get tickets for Jardin Majorelle:
Jardin Majorelle is now Morocco’s most visited tourist attraction, with an average of 900,000 visitors annually. This increased popularity can result in long queues, so purchasing tickets online is highly recommended. Visitors arriving before 10 am or at the opening time of 8 am have the best chance of immediate entry. Visiting in the afternoon is recommended for keen photographers, as it captures the best lighting. A ticket for entry to the Villa Oasis gardens, which are a highlight, is included from Friday to Monday. Additionally, visitors should not miss the Musée Berbère for an extra cost of Dh30 ($3.35).
Musée Yves Saint Laurent is located next door to the garden, and combined tickets can be purchased for both attractions. Visitors are advised to plan to spend a considerable part of the day between the two sites.
History of Jardin Majorelle:
Jacques Majorelle bought a 4-acre palm grove on the outskirts of Marrakesh in 1923, where he built his first dwelling, a Moorish-style home with a traditional adobe tower. In 1931, he extended the plot to almost 10 acres and commissioned French architect Paul Sinoir to design an art deco-style villa and studio. The main house was home to Jacques Majorelle, Yves Saint Laurent, and Pierre Bergé, the last of whom lived there until his death in 2017.
Who was Jacques Majorelle?
Jacques Majorelle was a French painter from Nancy, known for his Orientalist paintings of Morocco and North Africa. Majorelle was drawn to the vibrant colors and street life in Marrakesh and arrived in Morocco in 1917. He was exposed to the art nouveau movement, which influenced his love of plants and animals. Majorelle was responsible for the creation of the striking cobalt-blue buildings in the garden, which he dubbed “Majorelle Blue.”
Plants in Jardin Majorelle:
The garden contains over 300 plant species collected over several decades of Jacques Majorelle’s travels. Bamboo thickets and an array of desert plants are among the many botanical wonders to be found in the garden. Although the garden is a must-see for plant enthusiasts, it is still an enchanting place to explore for all visitors. Signage provides useful illustrations of various species, although labeling scientific names along with common names would be helpful.
Jardin Majorelle, a popular tourist destination in Morocco, has retained its unique charm despite its growing popularity. The garden’s history, featuring Jacques Majorelle’s vision and Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé’s preservation efforts, adds to its allure. Visitors can purchase tickets online and plan to spend a significant portion of their day between the garden and the neighboring Musée Yves Saint Laurent. While the garden is a must-see for plant enthusiasts, it is an enchanting space for all visitors.