The Majorelle Garden was designed by the French painter Jacques Majorelle (1886-1962), who was sent to Morocco in 1917 to recover from an illness. After spending a short time in Casablanca, he went to Marrakech and, like many of his contemporaries, fell in love with the bright colours and street life he found there. Although he travelled extensively in North Africa and the Mediterranean, he finally decided to settle permanently in Marrakech and, on his return, created the botanical garden as an artist’s landscape and property for his family residence. It is now open to the public and houses three museums.
The Menara Gardens, created in the 12th century, owe their name to the covered pavilion at their centre, where Sultan Abd al-Rahman spent his summers in the 17th century. The gardens are surrounded by olive groves, orchards and an artificial lake used for irrigation. A hydraulic system that still works today is used to supply the lake with water from the Atlas Mountains.