Today I’d like to tell you about a place that has been turned from literally RUINS of an ancient riad to this stunning garden showcasing various plants from all over the globe and the splendid architecture. When Lauro, the pioneer and creator of this wonderful spot, showed me the photos of Le Jardin Secret before 2015, I was truly shocked. It looked as if it were two completely different places. The first one was ruins filled with rubbish, gloomy place that seemed to work like a repellent against visitors. The place I have visited was actually an amazing garden with beautiful alleys, plants, and architecture.
Lauro admits that in the beginning the place was supposed to be a hotel. He changed his idea and it became a cultural place, where people can slow down and enjoy beautiful nature in the heart of the hectic city of Marrakesh.
I have to admit, hands down, bravo for the brave move of giving up prosperous business idea and creating a place that serves the locals, the tourists and the environment!
As Lauro says, the main focus is on water, history, architecture, and the garden. Even though all aspects of Le Jardin Secret are breathtaking, I was extremely amazed by the water. Or rather by the smart way it flows!
“In the latter half of the Eleventh Century a millennial hydraulic tradition and the proximity of the Atlas Mountains led the Almoravids to the building of the city’s first khettara. The khettara is a ground drainage tunnel that intercepts the water of the groundwater aquifer and then distributes it to the city’s mosques, the hammams and the fountains. It also reached some of the great houses, including that of Le Jardin Secret, which had, therefore, its own water supply, a rare privilege and an additional sign of wealth. We can still see the visible vestiges of the riad’s original water system, made up of pipes, reservoirs and canals cleverly linked together.”
You can read more about the four aspects here, and you can also see the videos explaining the ground drainage:
The entrance to the garden is 5 EUR, to the tower is 3 EUR. There is a discount for Moroccan residents. I highly recommend you to go to the tower too as it gives probably the best view of the medina you can get!