The El Badi Palace is a reminder of Marrakech’s heyday when it was a bustling caravan hub and the capital of Morocco’s mighty empire.
This monument, made up of more than 300 parts, was erected by Sultan Ahmed El Mansour after he returned from exile to commemorate the Saadian army’s crushing victory over the Portuguese occupation.
El Badi Palace is a work of Islamic art that is hailed by many as a paradise on earth.
It was intended to serve as a representation of the might of a vast sultanate that stretched from the Mediterranean to Niger.
However, Antonio Almagro, a researcher at the EEA in Granada, Spain, has been instrumental in bringing it back to life in virtual reality.
Incomparable Arabo Islamic Jewel
Sultan Ahmed El Mansour constructed El Badi Palace, often known as “the palace of the incomparable,” after the Saadians defeated the Portuguese during the Battle of the Three Kings.
The works started in 1578 (986 CE – AH anno hegirae) and lasted until 1594.
Even after the Sultan passed away in 1603, some construction projects continued.
El Badi Palace’s interior design was influenced by Grenada’s Alhambra.
The Saadian Palace El Badii Splendor and Richness
The meaning of the term El Badi, one of the 99 names ascribed to God, is “the incomparable.”
In the Mellah neighborhood of Marrakech, close to the Sultan’s private palace, lies the palace complex known as El Badi, or Ksar Badii in Arabic. It is situated to the northeast of the Kasbah of the Almohad.
El Badi Palace serves primarily political purposes; to demonstrate the Sultan’s dominance, it must be lavishly decorated and enormous in scale, impressing both Moroccan royalty and foreign ambassadors in Morocco at the time of the trials.
The Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain served as inspiration for the construction of the Palace, which was made of the most exquisite materials, including cedar wood from the Atlas Mountains, Carrara marble from Italy, ceramics from Spain, gold from Sudan, jade from China, onyx from France, and ivory from black Africa.
On the Palace site, the best Moroccan artisans are at work.
The project also involves foreign artisans and architects.
According to rumors, the Sultan was kind in his use of labor.
The bab al rokham, a marble door, which opens in the southwest corner of the palace on the Kasbah side, is the main entrance to the palace complex.
The servants were able to move around invisibly because of a network of underground passageways and apartments.
A prison, a kitchen, and hammams were also located in the basement.
The pavilion floors had a central heating system put in.
Masterpiece of 360 Pieces
Fountains and Courtyards
The inner courtyard measures 135 meters in length and 110 meters in width, with a 90-meter pool in the middle.
A colossal fountain stands in the center of it.
The Fruit tree below has four flowerbeds planted in it.
There are 4 30m x 10m pools located in the four corners of the palace.
Green and heliotrope pavilions
Two substantial pavilions have been built around the courtyard of the palace el Badi, one on either side of the two crystal pavilions and audiences.
The heliotrope and the green pavilion.
These pavilions included the areas designed for the lodging of guests and diplomats, and they were surrounded by a lengthy, open gallery with a sizable surface area.
Audience pavilion and crystal
These two pavilions, which were hung over an ornately painted wooden dome and flanked by tiny ground-level cooling basins, were frequently used by the Sultan.
The visitors’ and ambassadors’ pavilions are for public use, while the crystal pavilion is for private use.
They both have zellige flooring and two rows of marble columns on either side, and their styles are nearly identical.
Sultan’s Private Residence
This building, known as a summer house, served as the Sultan’s private lodging.
The summer apartment was annexed to the palace along its southern façade, much lower in scale than the opulent palaces of el badi.
Inside one of the chambers of the palace el badii, one can see the minbar, the imam’s preaching chair, from the enormous mosque of the Koutoubia in Marrakech.
900 years ago, in the 12th century, in Cordoba, Spain.
It is made up of a thousand pieces that have been intricately carved from cedar wood with silver inlays and ebony and sandalwood inlays as decorations.
Due to a significant degradation of the wood by wood-boring insects, the minbar was repaired in an attempt to restore it to its original appearance.
El Badi Palace’s beauty and the Saadian dynasty’s influence
Portugal lost its freedom when the Kingdom of Spain seized it, and its nobles were forced to pay high ransoms to buy back their soldiers who had been captured by Morocco.
Thus, Sultan Ahmed El Mansour (the conqueror) adopted the moniker El Dahabi (the golden one).
Morocco has gained enormous respect in Europe by growing to be a major force along its borders.
In the style of the Ottoman Empire, the army was upgraded to uphold law and order and collect taxes.
A viceroy serves as the sultan’s representative in Fez.
Marrakech hosts a lot of embassies.
The Cherifian kingdom and the Ottoman empire’s hostilities ceased.
Morocco stretches into the sub-Saharan region from Tangier to Niger.
Rich gold reserves in Western Nigeria Sudan, which were taken control of in 1590 and used to make coins, flow through Marrakech and greatly benefit Morocco.
Finally, resources are provided by the sugar cane trade in the Souss Valley, which runs from Marrakech to Chichaoua.
Then, one kilogram of sugar is swapped for one kilogram of marble.
The Trade Company of Barbaria (Moroccan) imports a lot of commodities from Morocco into England.
Sultan Ahmed el Mansour holds absolute power over the nation and the kingdom as a whole.
Many sub-Saharan, Turkish, and European influences are allowed to penetrate due to foreign policy.
Numerous lavish and ambitious initiatives are being attempted in the realms of culture, the arts, and architecture.
El Badi Palace, the administrative hub of a vast kingdom, exhibits a grandeur and beauty unmatched by the splendour of Sultan El Mansour in this setting.