Source: Anna & Michal
It is indeed fun to learn the history and culture of a certain place that you will visit during your trip or vacation. The best place to go to learn about such history is the local museum. If you visit Marrakech in Morocco, you can also go inside the Museum of Marrakech. Here are the 10 things that you need to know about such museum.
1. Physical Size
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The museum is not a big one. It is just a small structure that is able to accommodate a good number of items as well as visitors. Although it is a small one, the designs that you can see both on the outside and the inside are all nice and beautiful. The good adjectives would be colorful and vibrant, just like what you would use in order to describe Moroccan art.
- Phone Number : +21 252 444 1893
- Address : Place Ben Youssef, Marrakech – Medina, Morocco
- Operating Hours : 9am up to 6:30pm daily
- Entrance Fee : 50 dirham
2. Short History
In the past, the Museum of Marrakech was actually a part of a palace which is the Dar Menebhi Palace. This palace was built by Mehdi Menebhi at the end of the 19th century. Due to its old age, the structure needs renovation and restoration. Once the place was restored, it was then converted into the museum that it is right now in the year 1997.
- Extensive restoration was made through the efforts of the Omar Benjelloun Foundation.
- Mehdi Menebhi was the Minister of War from 1900 up to 1903.
- He served such position during the reign of Sultan Abd al-Aziz.
3. Architecture of the Museum
The architecture of the Museum of Marrakech is considered to be a classical Andalusian type. You will see a number of fountains in the central courtyard. You will also see a hammam, which is a Turkish bath house where the individuals perform their bathing practices. Traditional seating areas are also available. You will also see carvings and tilework done intricately.
- A ceiling piece, similar to a chandelier can be seen hung from the ceiling of the large atrium.
- The atrium was originally a courtyard.
- At this present time, glass and fabric covers the large atrium.
- Mosaics and floor-set basins, which were features of the original courtyard, were retained.
4. Pottery Pieces
Source: Miguel Discart
There are a number of pottery pieces that you can find inside the museum. These pottery pieces were several examples of Berber and Moroccan types of pottery. These pieces were made by different local artists from the past and even up to the present. If you are a lover of pottery masterpieces and works, you should definitely check out the Museum of Marrakech.
- Berber pottery pieces are made by the people from the Berber tribes who inhabit the Rif area of Morocco.
- The pieces are mostly made by women.
- The pieces are also hand-painted.
Historical books and manuscripts are also available for display in the museum. These historical books and manuscripts are typically written as records of the history of the place. However, these articles are written mostly in the French language. There are no English translations available. Aside from that, the signs inside the museum are not written in English so you might have difficulties in checking different things out.
- Other articles are also written in the Arabic script.
- Generally, one is not allowed to touch the manuscripts as they are very old and easily torn.
- Calligraphy and original etchings can also be found here.
6. Pieces of Jewelry
You can find pieces of jewelry that are made in Moroccan designs and styles inside this museum. These pieces are known for their vibrant colors. In most cases, there are also lots of jewels or rocks of different colors that are embedded on the surfaces of such items. Local artists from the past centuries were the ones who made these fine pieces of jewelry. Most of them made these things by hand.
- The jewelry include necklaces, bracelets, pendants, and earrings, among others.
- Some of these jewelry pieces also came from the Berber tribes.
- Some of the elements used in making the pieces are gold and cobalt.
7. Exhibitions for Contemporary Art
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There is also a specific area in this museum where exhibitions for contemporary art are being held. If you are into contemporary art, then, this is where you should go. You can find the contemporary art works of different Moroccan artists, both dead and alive, in this area. You will surely enjoy looking at these fine pieces that mostly portray the lives and culture of the Moroccan people.
- The old kitchens called douiria are where these exhibitions are usually held.
- The douiria is a large space but slightly smaller in size compared to the living rooms.
- Examples of contemporary art pieces are in the field of photography, painting, sculpture, and plant.
There are various offices that are also being housed in this museum. One of these is the administration office where the office of the museum curator and other individuals who are responsible in taking good care of the museum and its contents are doing their work. There is also a library in this museum where books of various genres can be found, as well.
- You first need to go to the Ticket Office to purchase a ticket.
- You cannot enter without purchasing a ticket.
- You have to pay extra when you will use the toilet inside the museum.
- There is also a cafeteria if you want to grab something to eat but you are not allowed to eat inside the main museum.
9. Exhibitions for Moroccan Cultural Heritage
If you wish to know more about the cultural heritage of the people of Morocco, then, you must head out to the Museum of Marrakech. You will see exhibitions that aim to display the Moroccan cultural heritage. These exhibitions are often held at the areas where the old living rooms and the old porches of the palace were before it was converted into a museum.
- Traditional weapons are available for viewing, which are part of the cultural heritage of Morocco.
- These weapons include swords, daggers, and even guns.
- Suit costumes from urban and rural areas can also be seen in this section.
10. Archaeological Items
You will also have the chance to take a look at the archaeological items that were found in Marrakech. One of the most popular archaeological items in this Museum of Marrakech is the mint or coin. The mints typically come from the 8th century up to the 20th century. Such collection or exhibit usually displays the currencies of older Islamic principalities.
- Details about the minting process is available.
- You can also read descriptions of each coin.
- The form, material, and weight are part of the descriptions.
This is not the only museum in Marrakech, though. There are still a lot of museums that can offer you with cultural and historical knowledge that you can feed your brain. What is most important is that you enjoy your experience and have fun while learning.
Have a good trip and travel!