The Agdal Gardens

The Agdal Gardens comprise ~700 acres of land close to the Royal Palace, and the medina in Marrakech, Morocco. The Agdal Gardens were established directly adjacent to the southern edge of the M√©dina, and they functioned both as productive orchards and private pleasure gardens for the caliph.Their name derives from the Berber language for “walled meadow” or meadow on the banks of a wadi enclosed by a stone wall. Extending for some 3 kilometres the gardens include groves of orange, apricot, lemon, fig, and pomegranate trees in rectangular plots, that are joinred by olive-tree lined walkways. Together with the medina of Marrakech and the Menara Gardens, the Agdal Gardens were listed as a World Heritage Site in 1985.
The gardens were created by Abd al-Mu’min (1130-1163) of the Almohad dynasty in 1157 at the same time as the nearby Menara Gardens. ‘Abd al-Mu’min was the founder of the Almohad capital in Marrakech, and he undertook many significant building projects in the city between 1147 and his death in 1163. They were renovated by the Saadi dynasty and then enlarged during the reign of Moulay Abderrahmane in the 19th century. The gardens are irrigated using water brought from the Ourika Valley by a network of underground channels and ditches. using a number of pools and ditches. The network of underground channels and ditches are known as khettera.

The Dar El Hana, a small pavilion or minzah, stands beside the largest pool, the Sahraj el-Hana (Tank of Health), which was used to train troops to swim. Sultan Mohammed IV died in the pool when his steam launch capsized there in 1873.

Within the Agdal Gardens is the Dar el-Beida in the northwest quadrant of the garden grounds.. This palace is reserved for use by the ‘Alawi royal family when they are in residence in Marrakech. The palace is modest in scale but has been richly decorated and well-maintained due to its continuing use as a royal residence. The palace was built by ‘Alawi Sharif Moulay ‘Abd al-Rahman bin Hisham (reg. 1822-1859).