El Badi Palace in Marrakech
Sadly, as with so many historical buildings, the El Badi Palace in Marrakech has not survived over the years. Its ruins are a cruel reminder of the destruction of war, and while walking through the ruins one is still able to get a sense of how magnificent the palace used to be. The layout and descriptions of how the El Badi Palace once looked conjures up feelings of great regret, as it must have been one of the most spectacular structures in Morocco. Despite its misfortune, the El Badi Palace is still a popular attraction n Morocco, as the layout of the palace and some of its features can still be seen.
Ahmad al-Mansur became the sultan of Morocco in 1578, during the reign of the Saadi dynasty. His rule lasted until his death in 1603. In celebration of their victory at the Battle of Three Kings, the El Badi Palace was commissioned and constructed began in 1578. It took approximately twenty-five years for the massive palace to be constructed, and the riches and decoration were so overwhelming that it took Alaouite Sultan Mawlay Ismail twelve years to destroy. Mawlay used the pieces from the El Badi Palace to create his own palace in Meknes, leaving just the shell of the palace behind, which has become a historical landmark in Marrakech.
It is said that the palace once had three hundred and sixty rooms and was decorated in Sudanese gold, ivory, Italian marble, semi-precious stones and cedar wood. Visitors to the palace will still be able to walk through the courtyard with its large pools and sunken gardens, even though the fountains that once graced this courtyard are no longer there. The small dungeon with four cells, where the sultan kept his prisoners, has also survived and can be viewed. The palace that used to host lavish parties and royal gatherings is still the venue for music and festivities, as the National Festival of Popular Arts is hosted here annually. The entrance fee for the El Badi Palace is ten Dirham and visitors to Morocco are recommended to explore this breathtaking historical monument and discover the beauty of these ruins.