El Badi Palace is a ruined palace located in Marrakesh,Morocco. Commissioned by the Arab Saadian sultan Ahmad al-Mansur, sometime shortly after his accession in 1578, its construction was funded by a substantial ransom paid by the Portuguese after the Battle of the Three Kings. The palace is nowadays a well known tourist attraction.
The palace took twenty five years to build, with construction finally completed around 1593 and was a lavish display of the best craftmanship of the Saadian period. Constructed using some of the most expensive matrials of the time, including gold and onyx, the colonnades are said to be constructed from marble exchanged with Italian merchants for their equivalent weight in sugar. The original building is thought to have consisted of 360 richly decorated rooms, a courtyard (135×110 m) and a central pool (90×20 m).
Marrakech and El Badi Palace, by Adriaen Matham, 1640
There are several large pavilions on the site, which are believed to have been used as summer houses. The largest on the site is known in Arabic as Koubba el Khamsiniya, which translates into ‘The Fifty Pavilion’, named either after its surface area of some 50 cubits or the fact that it once contained 50 columns.