Agdal Gardens in Marrakech
Within the bustling city of Marrakech there are a few areas where visitors can find tranquility and beauty. But it is rare to find a location that is as historic as it is breathtaking as the splendor of the Agdal Gardens. Strolling through these fragrant gardens with a rich heritage and unmatched beauty, transports visitors into a world of natural wonder and peacefulness. It has become a popular tourist attraction and even locals take the time to walk through the garden to escape the restrictions of their daily lives.
The Agdal Gardens are located within the grounds of the Royal Palace and are open to visitors twice a week, only when the King of Morocco is not staying at the palace. Its name is derived from the Berber language, and can be translated to meaning “Walled Meadow”. Abd el Moumen, ruler of the Almohad Dynasty, came into power during the twelfth century, and the gardens started taking shape as an orchard. In later years, the Saadi Dynasty renovated the gardens, enclosing its beauty with protective walls.
Covering an area of approximately four hundred hectares, the Agdal Gardens are a wonderful example of the architectural and landscaping skills of the time. With underground irrigation systems in place, the orchards could be watered from the pools and a massive lagoon that were erected on the grounds. Water for the gardens could be sourced from the Atlas Mountains and the Ourika Valley. The largest lagoon is referred to as the Tank of Health, and was a favorite swimming location for the King’s troops. Walkways throughout the gardens are lined with olive trees, and the orchards that include rows of pomegranate, orange, apricot, fig and lemon trees. The apricot orchards are especially fascinating, as they were originally planted on a raised plot that can still be seen today. The ancient design and engineering feats that can still be marveled at makes a visit to the Agdal Gardens a very special and captivating experience. Ambling along the pathways and enjoying the peacefulness of the gardens also gives visitors a glimpse of Morocco’s rich history.