The House of Storks (Dar Bellarj in Arabic) is a foundation for culture in Morocco with the aim of promoting and perpetuating the arts and traditions of the country. The history of this foundation, created in 1999, is quite incredible. First, it takes its name from being built on a former bird hospital. Converted into a school and abandoned for more than 10 years, the place falls into decrepitude. It is finally spotted later by a couple of Swiss, Susanna Biedermann and Max Alioth, who fell under the spell of the ocher city on a trip. Together, the couple decides to invest their fortune in this place to defend the Moroccan popular culture that contributes, according to him, to the “soul” of Marrakech.
The Dar Bellarj Foundation was born and there are regularly organized exhibitions and other cultural activities such as concerts, story readings, dance or theater performances, painting workshops … In recent years, we will keep the exhibitions dedicated “embroidery”, “stucco” or “achoura” that marked the House of Storks.
Even today, the foundation gives literacy classes to women from the medina of Marrakech and regularly runs workshops with them to raise their awareness of their heritage. Some even have the chance to go abroad. Children can also enjoy playful workshops such as dance, theater or caligraphy.
Beautifully restored by the Swiss couple with noble materials, the place itself is worth a look at Marrakech. Dar Bellarj has a large patio of 200m2, with a small fountain in the center, surrounded by 4 spacious rooms dedicated to exhibitions and a nice tea room where are sometimes held round tables and debates. We can even tell you that there is a cellar! It is sometimes arranged for exhibitions.
The Foundation is recognized in Marrakech as an authentic meeting place where Moroccans, tourists and residents can exchange, far from certain cultural events that finally host few locals.
The Dar Bellarj Foundation of Marrakech is open from Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5.30pm. During Ramadan, it is open from 9h to 15h. It is closed in August.