History of Jardin Majorelle

History of Majorelle Garden

The Jardin Majorelle is one of the crown jewels of Marrakech and is easily accessible from the historic district known as the Medina. When learning the history of Jardin Majorelle, it's worth noting that Jacques Majorelle, the son of a well-known Art Nouveau furniture designer, came to Marrakech in 1917. In 1923, he bought a piece of land and constructed a home in the Moorish style because he was charmed by the city. After eight years, Majorelle continued his love of Orientalist painting and hired Paul Sinoir, an architect, to create a Cubist mansion for him. He also started to create a detailed garden with more than 135 plant varieties from five continents.

When Majorelle first opened his gardens to the public in 1947, he charged a nominal admission fee to assist in paying for the care and repair of the grounds. Majorelle had to sell the house in the 1950s due to an expensive divorce, and the grounds rapidly deteriorated.

Luckily, as per the Jardin Majorelle history, the site was rescued in the 1980s. After learning that the grounds were being sold to developers, Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé intervened to save the gardens during their visit in the 1960s. With the help of more than 20 gardeners and extra plants, they started a massive restoration project that resulted in the planting of 300 different plant types.

Before Saint Laurent passed away in 2008, the couple owned the property and frequently visited Jardin Majorelle. His ashes were dispersed throughout the rose garden. The villa and property were acquired by the Foundation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent in 2010, maintaining public access. 

Jardin Majorelle Today

The long lines of people waiting to enter Jardin Majorelle have become legendary in the city of Marrakech. The implementation of an online booking system may reduce the number of visits. However, the presence of tourists and Instagram users continues to predominate, reducing the possibility of finding complete peace or quiet. The gardens are still breathtaking and exquisitely designed, and the villa's Berber Museum offers an intriguing look into cultural legacy.

Year-round, the gardens are open on Wednesdays through Sundays; however, specific hours, especially around religious holidays, may vary. If you'd like to avoid the busiest times of the day, you can visit in the late afternoon.

When Yves Saint Laurent saved the Jardin Majorelle

The Jardin Majorelle is steeped in folklore and history. In 1980, the renowned fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé, who had already acquired the nearby Villa Oasis, acquired the Garden and the Villa of the Painter Majorelle. They gave rise to the well-known "Bleu Majorelle" colour, after learning that they would be demolished for a real estate project. 

In order to have the Garden ready for public viewing, the French designer set out to completely restore it. As one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Morocco, the Majorelle Garden astonishes up to 600,000 tourists annually. In the garden that Yves Saint Laurent cherished and that owes him so much, a heartfelt yet understated homage is being paid to him today.

FAQ's of History of Jardin Majorelle

What is the history of Jardin Majorelle?

As per the history of Jardin Majorelle, the well-known French painter Jardin Majorelle himself, established the green haven in 1931. Long back in 1923, he had started filling it with unusual plant specimens from throughout the globe. However, Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé, who had first visited Morocco in 1966, bought the Jardin Majorelle in 1980 to protect it from being demolished by hotel developers. Renaming the property of the Villa Oasis, the new owners chose to reside in Jacques Majorelle's estate.

When was Jardin Majorelle built?

Jardin Majorelle was actually built in 1931 when he hired architect Paul Sinoir to create a Cubist mansion there. Over time, he was able to add another 10 acres to his property by purchasing nearby plots. However, long back in 1923, Majorelle had already started establishing a lush garden in the grounds surrounding the house, which would eventually be called the Jardins Majorelle (Majorelle Garden).

What is the oldest part of Jardin Majorelle?

As per Jardin Majorelle's history, the oldest part is the gardens that were started in the year 1922 by the French painter. More than 300 plant species from all over the world can be found in these gardens, creating an otherworldly desert mirage.

When was Café Majorelle Built?

Café Majorelle, located in Marrakech, Morocco, was not built; instead, it was part of the Majorelle Garden, which was created by French painter Jacques Majorelle in the 1920s and 1930s. During the period of Jacques Majorelle, the cafe was housed in the former servants' quarters. It was modeled as per the rammed earth buildings that are common in North Africa's Berber regions. Madison Cox, a garden designer, subsequently refurbished it while preserving its rustic element.  

Who was the creator of the Jardin Majorelle?

The French Orientalist artist Jacques Majorelle began work on Jardin Majorelle in 1923 and spent nearly forty years creating it. It includes a 1930s Cubist mansion created by French architect Paul Sinoir.


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