Centuries-old Marrakech riad open to public
After three years of restoration is riad Secret Garden opened to the public in the medina of Marrakech. The riad was inaugurated Saturday by the wali of the region, Bjioui and Ahmed Akhchichine Mjdarm, President of the Foundation of national museums. Also building Lauro Milan owner was present. Dating from the second half of the sixteenth century and was owned by sultans and senior political figures in Morocco and Marrakech.
The riad has over the centuries an eventful time with decay, new owners and renovations. After Sultan Mohammed VI was poisoned around 1875 the House was taken over by Qadi Moulay Mustapha. Al Hajj Muhammed Loukrissi the Chamberlain got in 1912, he was the head of the Guild of watchmakers of Marrakech. The riad remained in his possession until his death in 1934.
Lands and plots were then again divided in the medina and the riad knew bad times, until 2006. A group of entrepreneurs bought it. After discovering the past and understanding the historical significance of the places decided contractors, architects and archaeologists to restore it in 2013.
So, a new water supply system work and old structures were restored. The riad is part of a Palace and had to therefore include replanting. This task was entrusted to landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith. The garden got Islamic features and was also designed as an exotic place with plants from five continents.
The complex has a 17-metre high tower and is nearly 4,000 square meters. 100 workers were needed for the restoration and most importantly: 50 million dirham.