Lonely Planet review
As 16th-century Sultan Ahmed el-Mansour was paving the Badi Palace, near Pl des Ferblantiers, with gold, turquoise and crystal, his court jester wisecracked, ‘It’ll make a beautiful ruin’. That jester was no fool: 75 years later the place was looted. Today it’s hard to guess the glories of el-Badi (the Incomparable) from the stark courtyard.
Check out the view of Marrakesh atop the pisé ramparts, and keep an eye out for upcoming events here. The king occasionally entertains royal visitors here, and the stately setting adds instant atmosphere to the Festival of Popular Arts in July. To reach the entrance, head through Pl des Ferblantiers and turn right along the ramparts.
El-Badi’s main attraction (well worth the additional Dh10 ticket) is the Koutoubia minbar (prayer pulpit), its cedar-wood steps intricately inlaid with marquetry and gold and silver calligraphy by 12th-century Cordoban artisans under a mâalem named Aziz – the Metropolitan Museum of Art restoration surfaced his signature.