#1 Maison de la Photographie
If you are a photographer - you HAVE to see this place! But if you love Marrakech, are interested in moroccan culture and like sweet rooftop cafes with views all the way to the Atlas mountains - you ALSO have to come here!!!
Dans les souks, Marrakech, circa 1940
I love this place! It is located in a little riad that got turned into a photography heaven. On the three rather small floors I saw more great photography then in some big museums or galleries I've been to. They have a beautiful collection of b/w pictures mainly focusing on Morocco from the early 1870s to the late 1960s. The changing exhibitions are very interesting and well curated, and I swing by every time I am in Marrakech and am very sad, when I miss a show (like the last one for example called „Femmes du Maroc/Women of Morocco“). All the explanations on the walls are kindly not only in French but also in English.
left: La médersa Bouanania, Fès, circa 1930, Anonyme
right: Portrait d'un Touareg, circa 1950, Jean Manuel et Landry Gaultier
The Maison de la Photographie of Marrakech is a private foundation created by Hamid Mergani and Patrick Manac’h in 2009 and is ever growing by either purchase or donations. There is an entrance fee of 50 Dirham (about 5,20$ / 4,60€) but I think it is well worth the money - they are doing a great job!
left: Paysage, Tafraout, circa 1939, Anonyme
right: Dans les souks, Marrakech, circa 1930, Garaud
Inside (it is a riad, so there is no real „inside“) several little rooms run around a small courtyard. The sun beams in and the rooms are protected from the light with white linen curtains that move in the breeze. It`s a very serene atmosphere - perfect for a little break from the crazy medina street life. To see everything on the three stories takes maybe half an hour (unless you are like me and fall in love with a picture and have to stalk it for a while before you can part with it for good). In that case you should totally climb up all the way to the third level and have a little something at the rooftop cafe. It has one of the best views of the medina and, specially in spring, the view of the snow topped Atlas mountains is breathtaking (and on the way down - who can blame you that you happen to pass by - and hang out - with your favorite picture again?)
In case you have to have the image of your dreams: the little shop in the entrance area sells reproductions in various sizes (woohoo). And if you want to send a beautiful postcard to someone special, you should definitely get it from here. I bought 6 (and, sorry, kept them all for myself).
left: Femme à la jarre, circa 1880, Anonyme
right: Dans les souks, ca 1920, Fèlix and you can see part of the shop behind the curtain
The Maison de la Photographie is located in the north of the medina, not far from the Medersa Ben Youssef (and just around the corner from Villa Filali (see previous post)). If you are located outside of the medina and you want to take a taxi, the nearest point of drop of would be Place Du Moukef and you face a 3-5 min walk. If you are roaming the medina on your own: from Café des Épices, for example, it is an about 10 min stroll I would say (if you know your way around or are a very good google maps analytic - for everyone else: it takes as long as it takes, but you will find it eventually).
Hope you like the place too. Let me know....
Porte de Kasbah, Tanger, circa 1880
Souks, Fès, circa 1940
Grâcieux fantômes, Casablanca, circa 1920
Chamelier, Tiznit, circa 1940
Soir dans le désert, circa 1926
Website in french and english: http://www.maisondelaphotographie.ma
(plus online shop - in case, while there, you thought you can live without that special image, but back home feel strongly that you actually can't)
46, Rue Souk Ahal Fassi, kaat Ben Nahid
Opening hours : everyday 9:30am - 7pm
Entrance fee: 50 MAD (free under 12)