The palace is the favorite place of stay of Lalla Salma, I wife of the King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, from Fez. In terms of area, it is one of the most important palaces of Morocco and its imposing main portal is considered a masterpiece of craftsmanship.
The residence, with all its buildings, tennis courts, swimming pools, utility buildings, official salons of the sovereign and its 14 gardens, occupies an area of more than 80 ha. The imposing seven-door main entrance was made, as can be read on a gilded plaque affixed to one of the doors, by native craftsmen.
The main portal was a gift to King Hassan II, father of the current ruler, Mohammed VI. For its decoration, three techniques were used. The upper part was decorated with stucco (mixture of plaster, marble powder and egg white) while the lower one is covered with a multicolored mosaic of which each shade is symbolic, white and blue are the colors of Fez, red is the symbol of rulers in power, green the color of Islam and yellow is the desert The third technique is represented by the wrought bronze in which various motifs were engraved.
The seven cedar doors are covered with a richly ornamented bronze sheet. The bronze decorations were chiselled by dozens of craftsmen. Their precise work is full of harmony and the fantasy motifs bear witness to a rich imagination. To achieve the ornaments, each craftsman had to prove a twenty-year experience in the craft.
Dar Batha Museum
The museum is housed in a palace whose courtyard is reminiscent of the Pomegranate Alhambra gardens. Every year, the court is the scene of the concerts organized as part of the Fes Festival of Sacred Music of the World.
Nowadays Batha Palace houses a museum of traditional arts. Once inside, do not miss the play, painted with plant motifs. There are several rooms displaying crafts, such as carpets, traditional dresses, jewelry or everyday objects. We remain impressed by the exhibition of old keys of various shapes and sizes. See also: astrological tools, oil lamps and ancient parchments in Arabic.
But the most important monument of the Dar Batha museum is the minbar, a kind of pulpit in a mosque. The chair adorned with several steps, from the Madrasa Bou Inania (> 82), was made of cedar wood richly carved and painted. The museum also boasts one of the finest collections of blue ceramics from Fez. The use of cobalt in the decoration of dishes is known in Morocco. When they adorned the dishes, the artisans showed a sense of exceptional harmony, choosing the most beautiful plant motifs.
An additional attraction of the museum, its Andalusian interior garden, is characteristic for the symmetry of its architectural composition. The alleys are paved with small round stones or covered with a mosaic, thus carving out the space of the garden in beds of rectangular flowers, richly planted with orange trees, palm trees, big jacarandas, ornamental grasses and roses. In the middle of the garden, there is a marble fountain behind which a wide staircase leads to the terrace.
It was at the Batha palace that documents were signed in 1912 under which Morocco passed under the French protectorate. It was at the Batha palace that documents were signed in 1912 under which Morocco passed under the French protectorate. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the building also served as a seat for regional radio. Nowadays, every year the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music is organized in the courtyard of the museum.
Fez hosts two prestigious musical events: the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music and the jazz festival.
The Fes Festival of World Sacred Music is organized every year in June at two points in the city: at the Dar Batha Museum (morning concerts) and in the medina, at the square near Bab Makina (evening concerts). Organized for the first time in 2001 at the initiative of the United Nations, the festival aims to integrate two civilizations: Eastern and Western. Each year, another idea animates the event, p. ex. The ways of creation, Interpreters of the sacred, The wisdom and madness of men, A soul for globalization, Traces of light or Breath of time - Spirit of places.
This American-Moroccan initiative is being supported over time by European cities such as Milan, London or Madrid. The festival invites artists from around the world, such as Youssou N'dour, Maria Bethânia or opera divas, church choirs, gospel groups or philharmonic groups. Each edition of the festival allows you to listen to musicians presenting a great wealth of trends and musical styles.
The second important festival, the Fez Jazz in Riad, organized since 2003 in autumn (most often in October) is an event that wins international awards, such as Djangod'Or a trophy dedicated to the promotion of Jazz.
The concerts take place in many places of the city. So far we have heard at the festival among others, Monica Passos, Louis Wirsber Septet (founder of Gipsy King) and the Keltic Tales Quintet, accompanying musicians like Pat Metheny, Joe Pass, Chick Corea, Eddie Gomez or Tommy Campbell. During the festival the city lives to the rhythm of Jazz. In addition to musical performances, there are symposia, exhibition conferences and film screenings dedicated to music.