Marrakech is famous for its exotic souks and historic palaces. But its real treasures are hidden in a few of the most interesting museums that Marrakech can call her own. Whether you are a true lover of art, or would love to learn more of Morocco’s rich cultural and historical life, these five museums are your go-to places!
1. Maison de la Photographie
A small and privately owned museum in a traditional Riad, just around the corner from the Ben Youssef Quranic school. Maison de la Photographie houses a collection of photographs, documentaries and postal cards taken or produced between 1879 and 1960. It shows the diversity of Morocco through the lens of famous and more anonymous photographers. A great place to visit and enjoy a hibiscus tea or tajine on the roof terrace overlooking the old Medina.
2. Berber Museum in Jardin Majorelle
An introduction to the Berber culture: that is what this small museum hidden in the midst of the popular Jardin Majorelle is all about. The exhibition is divided into three sections: (1) Know-how, both tangible and intangible, which transforms a great diversity of raw material into artefacts for daily or ceremonial use. (2) Sets of jewels that illustrate age-old beliefs and knowledge. (3) A sense of grandeur expressed in costumes, weapons, weaving and decorated doors. All these objects invite the visitor to appreciate the beauty of Berber art across rural Morocco. They testify to the rich diversity and creativity of this culture. A beautifully curated collection, this small museum is well-worth the extra Dirhams on top of the Jardin’s entrance fee.
3. Maison Tiskiwin
Hidden in an alleyway close to Bahia Palace, this museum displays the impressive art collection of Dutch anthropologist Bert Flint. Each room represents a caravan stop along the Sahara-to-Marrakesh route, with indigenous crafts from Tuareg camel saddles to High Atlas carpets. The accompanying text is often more eccentric than explanatory, but Tiskiwin’s well-travelled artefacts offer tantalising glimpses of Marrakesh’s trading-post past.
4. MACMA Gueliz
Dedicated to contemporary modern art with each year a specific theme and collection, the MACMA museum in Gueliz just recently opened its doors. Beautifully curated, the museum houses a great collection of contemporary art which is not common in Morocco.
5. Douiria Mouassine
The Douira Museum in the Mouassine quarter of the Marrakech medina is a stunning example of late 16th century / early 17th century Saadian architecture. The property was purchased by Patrick Manac’h (owner and curator of La Maison de la Photograhie) in 2012 from a local inhabitant. Soon after, upon discovering what lay hidden beneath various layers of paint and plaster added over the course of generations of “home improvements”, the slow process began of restoring the building to its former glory and what was to become the Douiria Museum Mouassine Marrakech.