Anima Garden

Visitors have long flocked to Marrakech's Majorelle Jardin for its iconic blue hues and Yves Saint Laurent-inspired design. But there's a new garden in town and it has delivered something a little different.

Sitting 28km outside Marrakech, is the creation of André Heller, an Austrian multimedia artist who has undertaken numerous artistic endeavours across the world – and his new garden may just take out the top spot as Marrakech's most-photographed site.

Anima was a long time coming. The project began over five years ago on land once occupied by a rose farm. Unlike traditional Moroccan gardens, Anima combines sculptures with nature. The flowers and plants pay homage to local horticulture while Heller pays tribute to his European roots in some areas. 

There is a Wonderland-esque feel to the entire space: while many of the sculptures look as though they could be lifted from comic books, there also is an African tribal feel to their design. The garden is lined with pathways that are mixed with pavilions, all against the backdrop of the towering High Atlas Mountains. While the garden has only been open since April 2016, the visual appeal is sure to be even stronger during winter months, when the mountains are capped with snow.

A small museum has also been built on the site by architect Carmen Wiederin. It will feature photographs on a rotating schedule, as well as other displays from artists from around the world. Recent exhibitions have included the works of Moroccan artist Malika Sqalli. And if the sun gets to be too much or you'd rather sit down with a cold drink to soak up the atmosphere, Café Paul Bowles serves juices, teas, and pastries.

Really worth a visit.

daren bonar