Jardin Majorelle is a popular destination for tourists visiting Morocco. But did you know there’s a French-American connection to this historic property?
French painter Jacques Majorelle was the original creator of this enchanting location in the heart of Marrakesh. Two decades after Marojelle’s death, Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé bought Jardin Majorelle and Villa Oasis, saving the gardens and buildings from destruction due to development that was taking place in the neighborhood.
The team that came together to preserve this compound is a story of visionaries from around the world joining forces to create a landmark that now draws hundreds of thousands of visitors per year.
Architect Bill Willis and garden designer Madison Cox are two Americans who were heavily involved in working with Saint Laurent to transform the property. Willis helped with the conversion of a studio into the impressive museum that now hosts a world-class collection of Berber artifacts, in addition to leading other building restoration efforts. Cox led restoration projects for the pavilions, walkways, ponds and other aspects of the garden.
Villa Oasis is off-limits to the general public and can only be viewed through a special invitation. If you are so lucky to gain entrance, you will experience the colorful, exotic, and ornate vision of Majorelle and the individuals who have played a role in protecting this architectural gem.
Despite the crowds, which have grown dramatically with the rise of Instagram, Jardin Majorelle is a visual feast that should be at the top of every visitor’s itinerary when visiting Morocco.