Bahia Palace: Awe-Inspiring Opulence

A hand-drawn illustration of Bahia Palace in Morocco.
The Bahia Palace is both a palace and a set of gardens situated in the medina of Marrakech, Morocco, just along the northern edge of Mellah, also known as the Jewish Quarter. While the exact dates for the construction of this palace are not known, records indicate that it was commissioned between 1859 and 1873. It was completed in 1900.

The construction was the work of a father and son, Si Moussa and Ba Amed. The two were vizirs to Alawid Sharifs, Moroccan sultans. The name Bahia means “brilliance.” The building incorporates beautiful and intricate stucco work and a form of polychrome mosaic known as zellij (or zellige), which was topped by painted, inlaid woodwork ceilings.