The Bahia Palace (Palais de la Bahia) is one of Marrakech’s most imposing buildings. It was constructed at the end of the nineteenth century, and was intended to be the most impressive palace of all times. Commissioned by the Grand Vizier Ba Ahmed ben Moussa, the palace took over ten years to complete and was designed in two stages.
At the end of the nineteenth century, Abu Ahmed, a black slave that had risen to power and become vizier had the palace enlarged and had craftsmen from all the country come to work on the mansion. The building has eight hectares and 150 rooms that lead to various patios and gardens. The most interesting part of the visit is the harem of Abu Bou Ahmed’s four wives and 24 concubines.
Curiously, the palace means “the beautiful”. There are several theories on whether the palace was called “bahia” because of its architectural beauty or after the viziar’s favourite wife.