The El Cadi Riyad Marrakech – The Story Behind
The El Cadi Riyad Marrakech was founded by Herwig Bartels, a long life diplomat, connoisseur of the Arab world, passionate collector of Islamic arts and last but not least German Ambassador to Morocco.
Bartels thought the traditional architecture of a 14th century riyad the most adequate platform to show his internationally renowned collection of Islamic arts. He considered the most attractive place for a riyad Marrakech as he loved the warm-hearted and easy-going Marrakchis, the all-year sun and the lively and colourful life in the red city. This was the ideal place to come to rest after a long working life. Until today, the riad is known among Moroccans as the ” Dar Essafir “, the house of the Safir, the Ambassador.
Open House for Art Lovers
Guests from all over the world met in a typical Moroccan environment to exchange ideas on Ottoman arts, modern Moroccan arts, creative dyers in the High Atlas Mountains, and carpet weavers in Anatolia. The meeting place for connoisseurs of Islamic arts was born!
The El Cadi Riyad Marrakech – once a private house – hosted more and more guests. Since 2000, the riyad was run as a hotel by Herwig Bartels and from 2003 on, his daughters are in charge of it – keeping up their father’s style.
The style of the Riyad Marrakech flair, oriental hospitality and arts
The El Cadi Riyad Marrakech still is a destination for friends of Islamic and Moroccan arts: Early Berber textiles from our collection are exhibited all over the riyad and permit insights into the age-old civilization of Morocco‘s Berbers.
Important artefacts – early Anatolian Kilims or Ottoman embroideries, medieval Musharabiyas from Fez or classical Chinese furniture, modern paintings or rural Moroccan pottery – can be found in all of the rooms, corridors and staircases and contribute to the exceptional character of the El Cadi Riyad Marrakech. All of these objects are in harmony and reveal art as a common language.