Anima is a magical garden located in Marrakesh, Morocco. It was created by the famous Austrian artist Andre Heller and features three hectares of gardens interspersed with monumental sculptures by Pablo Picasso, Keith Haring, Alexander Calder and Auguste Rodin. More than just a botanical garden, this living museum offers a green space full of wonder and inspiration in the heart of Marrakesh.
Who is André Heller – the creator of ANIMA
André Heller (born 22 March 1947 in Vienna) is an Austrian artist, author, poet, singer, songwriter and actor. In November 1972, he travelled to Morocco for the first time. It was love at first sight. Spontaneously he cancelled all his obligations, including a concert tour. Instead of his planned three weeks he stayed four and a half months. “It was a territory of bliss for me – from the Sahara to the Mediterranean and from the Atlantic to the Rif Mountains,” says Heller, describing his feelings about Morocco.
In 1999, in Marrakech, he organized the concert “Voices of God”, an event with spiritual singers, musicians and dancers from twelve cultures that has been broadcast by television in no fewer than 80 countries. In 2005, André Heller directed an award-winning film portrait of the soprano Jessye Norman – once again in Marrakech. At the age of sixty, Heller acquired eight hectares of fallow land in the south of the city at the foot of the High Atlas and in just six years, using all his experience, talents and savings, created the magic garden ANIMA, in which blossoms and works of art light up in the lush green of exotic plants. ANIMA has been open since 2016.
Why should I visit Anima?
Morocco, Marrakesh in particular is a beautiful, chaotic place full of hustle and bustle. The green space of Anima offers travellers some respite and peace from the chaos of the city.
Besides the obvious break from the busy city, the Anima also offers visitors the chance to see artworks by internationally acclaimed and world-famous artists. Visitors to Anima can gaze upon lesser-known works of Pablo Picasso, as well as works by local artists such as those of Moroccan calligrapher, Abderrahim Hamza. They can appreciate the abstract art of Edgar Tezak as well as the sculptures of renowned Polish artist, Igor Mitoraj.
Anima is a place not only to experience exotic plants, but to explore art. There are also two museum rooms onsite with rotating exhibitions by local and international artists.
A maze of plants and artwork, Anima has something for everyone. From the art critic to small children who will love exploring the garden.
There is an onsite restaurant, Café Paul Bowles which makes for a great lunch stop, not only out of the noise of the city, but also offering you the chance to explore Moroccan cuisine in this enchanting setting. The café also has a rooftop terrace allowing for beautiful views over the garden and all the way to the Atlas Mountains.
How do I get to Anima?
Anima is located outside the medina on the outskirts of the city. To get there you can either take public transport or the free shuttle offered by the garden. It is recommended that you reserve your seats HERE to avoid waiting or missing out.
Anima’s address is Douar Sbiti, Route d’Ourika Marrakesh. If you wanted a bit more freedom outside the shuttle, you could take a taxi, just make sure you negotiate a fare before getting in. If you choose this option, it might be a good idea to negotiate a fare that includes the driver waiting for you to take you back.
Anima is open all year round from 9am – 6pm daily, but is closed during public holidays in Morocco.