Les Trois Mages literally translated means– The Three Wise men or Magi, and is located in
the district (or ‘quartier’ in French) of Riad Laarous, a well known
area of the medina and North of the main square, the infamous Jemaa_el-Fnaa (more of that later). Originally built in the 16th-17th
Centuries, the riad would have been the ‘seat’ for a local merchant
family, housing two or three generations at a time. The riad was sold
in 2002 by a local Moroccan family to a Frenchman and renovated into a
guesthouse in 2003.
There followed a period of further refurbishment and upgrading, during which Anna attempted to find a new home for “the three kings” including personally accompanying them to the nearest rubbish collection site. They always seemed to find their way home…we suspect courtesy of our resident chef Saida….although she denies all knowledge!!! so now in our fifth year of trading, we have learned to live in harmony with Les Trois Mages.
Les Trois Mages offers guests an excellent level of comfort, service, informality
and respite from the hustle and bustle of Busy Medina Life….
This particular part of the medina derives it name from ‘Laaroussa’ meaning bride in Arabic. The story goes that once upon a time, there was a young girl who by the insistence of her parents and family was to marry a local merchant’s son, but disappeared the night before the wedding. The family were suitably horrified and shamed, as they wanted her to marry into a good (and presumably wealthy) family, ensuring a prosperous life for all concerned.
The local Marrackshi’s still await her return and in anticipation (perhaps), one sees lots of shops with wedding paraphernalia – caftan and garment makers, wedding equipment hirers and a local musicians group, suitably attired in traditional costume. Moroccan Wedding Customs
Les Trois Mages is also close to the mosque and shrine (called a Zouiya) of Sidi Ben Slimane, one of the seven saints of Marrakech.
(more information on that later too…).
With the particular design and layout of the medina, it meant that the houses had to built very close together, mainly for reasons of security and privacy but also as protection from the Moroccan Weather
The central courtyard is ideal for allowing light and air into the riad and minimizes the effects of the sun, only allowing it to shine directly into the courtyard for a brief period during the day and allowing the lower floors to be easily habitable even during the hot summer months.
In keeping with the Islamic belief of public modesty and privacy, the external façade would be very
plain, except for the main door and perhaps one or two very small
external windows for ventilation. Together with the metre thick walls
made from pise or adobe (chopped straw, lime and packed mud) – this
would keep out a lot of the noise and provide a tranquil haven for
families to live in.
Inside, the owners would have the opportunity to show off a little more with walls adorned with ‘tadelakt’ Tadelakt artisans – a mixture of local lime mixed with natural pigments and polished to a
waterproof finish. The resulting finish is very attractive, earthy,
and very long lasting – some of the tadelakt in the Marrakechi palaces
is hundreds of years old.
Also popular are the zellige tiles, small hand cut tile squares made into geometric shapes would be used to
embellish a room or courtyard. At Les Trois Mages, we have used them
alot in the bathrooms, contrasting well with the tadelakt to give an‘artisan’ and authentic touch.
We are entering celebration of the biggest feast in the Islamic calendar – Aid
L’Kebir –Preparation for the \”Sheep Feast\” in Marrakech medina
This is one of the two most important Islamic festivals,and begins on the 10th day of Dhu’l-Hijja, the last month of the Islamic calendar. Lasting for three days, it occurs at the conclusion of the annual Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca.
We will be keeping you up-to-date with all the goings in Marrakesh and at Les Trois Mages, so log in again soon.
By the way, this is very much a two way ‘thing’, so feel free to add any comments.
Les Trois Mages Team
Hindi Mood for Marrakech
Today is the beginning of International Film Festival in Marrakech (www.festivalmarrakech.info) and runs until the 8th December. Indian cinema is celebrating its centenary next year and the Film Festival will be the first to celebrate with a special tribute paid to Hindi cinema. For its 12th edition, the Festival will welcome the largest Indian delegation ever assembled at an international festival, and screen a great number of Hindi films throughout the week, including every night at the open-air screenings on the famous Jemaa El Fna Square, with some of Bollywood’s greatest stars and filmmakers presenting their films to Moroccan audiences who are long-time Bollywood fans.
The delegation, led by veteran star Amitabh Bachchan, will be honored during a tribute ceremony on Saturday, December 1st .
TRIBUTE TO YASH CHOPRA
Following the sudden death of director and producer Yash Chopra, the Marrakech International Film Festival will also pay tribute to this icon of Indian cinema, whose films include such classics as DEEWAAR (1975) – film that revealed actor Shah Rukh Khan; SILSILA (1981); LAMHE (1991); and more recently VEER-ZAARA (2004). In the words of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Yash Chopra “entertained many generations with his rare creativity and established the popularity of Indian cinema internationally.”