Sunday, 25 September 2011

Fes - Bahia Palace

The Bahia Palace would appear to be a forgotten gem of Fes. It is outside Fes al Bali and more modern dating only from the end of the 19thC. It is a series of single storey diwans around a traditional arab garden which is divided into 4 by paths representing the 4 rivers of paradise. It is now a museum displaying some of the best of moroccan handicrafts (old ones, not for sale). There is also a lone artisan selling high quality woodwork. He must struggle though as the place was deserted when we went in stark contrast to the huggermugger of the medieval town.
The gem of the collection is a modern (1947) minature near the door. I could not get a photograph because of the sun reflecting off the glass and they do not sell postcards but it is up there with the medieval enamel of Jonah and the Whale in Toledo, and Rembrandt's little picture of Jeremiah lamenting  over Jerusalem in the Rejkmuseum, or Lowry's view of Whitehaven in the Tate,  that would just fit beautifully into a pocket or bag to go on my wall.  If only.

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