Mosteiro de Alcobaca is a world Heritage Unesco site, and it is a an architectural wonder filled with a mystical feeling that is exuded from every carved detail on stone. It holds the tombs of D.Pedro and D. Ines de Castro, ( the greatest love story ever) which I explained here. Whenever I am around the area I always go back to feel this unique wonder. Here are some pictures.
The Jardin Majorelle, located just on the outside of the old medina, was designed and envisioned by the painter Jacques Majorelle (1886-1962) over the course of forty years. The garden is composed of a series of narrow pathways, filled with large trees, exotic plants and many different cactus that seem to stretch out to the heavens brought here from all corners of the earth. There are cacti, palm trees, bamboos, weeping willows, carob trees, jasmine and agaves, to name a few. As we wander, we hear the sound of water, smell the fragrances of beautiful flowers (maybe jasmines), the twittering of birds and feel the rough dry textures of the desert in our skin. On one side of the garden there is a large pond with gorgeous huge koi fish, that not only provides a moment of stillness and solitude, but makes it seem as if we are immersed in a Monet painting. Between the cooled pathways, the beautiful fountains and the colours that surround us, it makes it seem as if we are in a sort of paradise.
At the far end, emerging in between the beautiful pathways, a ‘house’ appears painted in bright blue. The building, which was Jacque’s art studio, is a sort of Moorish charm painted in blue because Jacques wanted to capture the bright blue he had experienced in the Atlas mountains. This shade of blue, which later became known as Majorelle blue, is a strong ultramarine, cobalt blue that enhances the green of the plants surrounding it, making it seem as if the garden is alive. Although the Jardin Majorelle only opened to the public in 1947, it was already widely known and revered for its beauty.
‘’ Jacques Majorelle used to say: “The painter has the modesty to regard this enclosure of floral verdure as his most beautiful work.” He referred to the garden as “ vast splendours whose harmony I have orchestrated… This garden is a momentous task, to which I give myself entirely. It will take my last years from me and I will fall, exhausted, under its branches, after having given it all my love.” ‘’ Source
Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé discovered the Jardin Majorelle in 1966, during their first stay in Marrakech, and instantly fell in love with it. After spending countless days there, they ended up buying it in 1980, saving it from being destroyed by a real estate project. They moved into the villa next door (Jacques previous house) and restored the gardens to their previous glory. Today the garden boasts of over 300 species and 20 permanent gardeners always keeping in perfect condition for its visitors. A haven, an oasis, a little paradise on earth, this garden truly is a wonder.
Yesterday we went to have some coffee at this place called Cafe des Epices. It’s terrace has a gorgeous view of the Marrakech skyline, and it’s interior design had these lovely drawings of the town. Adorable place for some R&R time…
Here is the link for the Cafe Des Epices for reference: https://cafedesepices.ma/
The Berber museum is housed in the building that used to be Jacque Majorelle art studio, (adjacent to the Jardin Majorelle) and presents Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint Laurent’s personal collection of the Berber’s culture to the public. Pierre Bergé specially was fascinated with the Berber’s culture and art, and over the years, he collected their art in his travels throughout the different countries where they can be found. The exhibition itself was organised in three parts: the know-how (bowls and other ordinary objects), the art (specially the jewellry) and the clothing. They were true craftsmen, and they created everything they needed with an intricacy and delicacy that still astounds today. What profoundly amazed me were the jewel collection, which were truly ostentatious and exuberant. All made of silver, using chiselling, filigree and many other techniques with stones and small gems. They were an expression of the social status of the woman who wore them… one can imagine the strength and the nobility it granted them. Truly magnificent. I was forbidden to take pictures, so the cover photo is all I managed to get. (Ahaha). However, I found some pictures online of the jewels…
‘’ The Berbers, are among the original peoples of North Africa. Their myths, legends and history span 9,000 years, and can be traced to the Proto-Mediterraneans. They have achieved unity by maintaining their unique language and culture which are, like their land, both African and Mediterranean.’’ Source