We roam restlessly through the winding streets of the Medina, the old town of Marrakesh. We lose ourselves in the turmoil until the city spits us out again at a completely different place. A fire of sensory impressions pours down on us and hardly lets us rest. In the middle of the medina lies the Maison de la Photographie. The museum is located in a renovated riad and offers with its peace and quiet a welcome change to the hustle and bustle of the city – also for non-art connoisseurs and historians.
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We almost didn’t find the building in the labyrinth of the city. I don’t know if it is due to the wrong scales on our map or if Marrakech in its complexity simply can’t be represented in a map. If you look a little lost into the area, a young Moroccan with business acumen is guaranteed to force his help on you – of course not without demanding a hefty tip for it. We already learn this in our first hours in Marrakech and are glad when we finally find the entrance to the museum and can escape the street clutter for a short moment.
Rest oasis in the medina
“Finally” welcomes us the friendly staff member at the entrance of the museum. Surely we are not the first to get lost in the search for the museum. “Finally” we answer and enter the Riad – a traditional Moroccan house with a courtyard. With a changing photo exhibition, the museum conveys impressions of old Morocco from the pioneering days of photography. While we simply let ourselves be carried away by the fascinating photos into the history of the Orient, art and Morocco connoisseurs discover many a photographic treasure of high historical value.
The best view of Marrakech and the High Atlas…
If you have had enough of art, you can make yourself comfortable on the roof terrace. It offers a fantastic view over the “red city” up to the snow-covered Atlas mountains. With a glass of Moroccan mint tea or freshly squeezed orange juice, you can enjoy the view and take in the dimensions of the big city.
…with fantastic food
As the waiter walks past our table with two steaming clay pots, which here in Morocco are the national dish under the name “Tajine”, we say goodbye to all the meal plans for the day and order a daily menu consisting of Moroccan salad, a Tajine de poulet au citron (tajine with lemon chicken) and a yoghurt for dessert. And in retrospect I can say that this was by far the best food we ate on our Morocco trip. Maybe it was a little bit due to the atmosphere and the warm afternoon sun on our backs or a little bit due to the magnificent view.
When we leave the museum after two hours we feel wonderfully rested and relaxed and ready for the evening in this crazy cool city. But more about that next time.
The Maison de la Photographie is located in the Rue Ahal Fes in the Medina of Marrakech, still behind the Médersa Ben-Youssef, the famous Koranic school. From there the street simply goes straight on and finds the museum on the left side of the street. Even if it seems in the travel guide as if the museum is located directly behind the school, one is there about 5-10 minutes on the way. The entrance fee of 40 DH (approximately 3,60 Euro) is not exactly cheap, but one can visit the museum as often as one likes during the stay. The daily menu costs with 70 DH (approximately 6,30 Euro) also not exactly little, but it is worth it. For those of you who know French, there is more information here.