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Back to museums Palace 1001 nights

The palace built in the Medina Méditerranea is a representation of what was, from the eighteenth century, the castle in the Arabic imaginary and especially Western. The palace is often perceived as a magical, intriguing and mysterious place; A residence both private and public out of sight and inaccessible to the crowd. This was where the main political, intellectual, religious and economic activities took place; And it was to him that converge the networks of craftsmanship and commercial activities.

This rich and varied life is reconstituted in our Medina through duplicates of famous paintings and some restitution of the course scenes. We are thus invited into the mythical universe of Sheherazade, that inexhaustible storyteller who charmed a bloodthirsty and suspicious prince who no longer believed in the loyalty of women by the simple continuous narrative of extraordinary stories that kept him awake all night. He who had promised himself, after a grave deception, that he would marry a woman a day and kill her in the morning, was completely captivated by the charm of the tales of Sheherazade during 1001 Nights to the point of forgetting her A fatal project. This Persian princess, as beautiful as she is intelligent, is one of the great ladies of the Arabic imaginary repertoire which has surpassed the frontiers of Persia and has become an emblematic heroine of the splendors of the East on a planetary scale.

It could only have its place in a place which is, as Moliere would say, "a condensed version of the wonders of heaven." A palace is consecrated to him, but we are not in Persia or in the East and this palace; By a stroke of a magic wand, took on the appearance of a large house in the Medina, opulent richly furnished, covered with tapestries with its Salamlik, an exclusively masculine space where the master of the house receives his suppliers, his servants and discusses his affairs. Further, sheltered from the eyes is the Haramlik space reserved for the women where the servants are busy. There, our Scheherazade quietly installed on a throne, listens to the stories that a blind Jewish fdaoui tells him. Who knows? She resorts to him in order to transmit in turn ... An infinite chain of tales ... A large room is reserved in which are offered caftans and dresses. A nearby hammam extends your arms to you, a loose dress , Slippers and you are transported for a time into another universe. Why not let yourself be alive again for a short time .... the mysteries of the East lead to reverie, to relaxation, to the sweetness of life. Let us listen to the poet and let us delight ourselves. Has not Baudelaire encouraged us to change our scenery?

My child, my sister, Think of the rapture Of living together there! Of loving at will, Of loving till death, In the land that is like you! The misty sunlight Of those cloudy skies Has for my spirit the charms, So mysterious, Of your treacherous eyes, Shining brightly through their tears. There all is order and beauty, Luxury, peace, and pleasure.

It is this stuffy and cozy refined atmosphere which is conveyed to us throughout seventeenth and nineteenth-centuries by series of the most famous and great orientalist paintings of European Paintings. Courtyard-lifestyle and Art of life are illustrated in abundance by a great number of painters fascinated by the discrete charms of the Orient.

At the entrance of the Palace, the visitor will be able to contemplate an art gallery where several paintings painted us and relive the magical atmosphere of the Medina and Royal courts.

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