The hidden gem in Morocco
Meknes, situated on the edge of the Middle Atlas Mountains in Morocco, is an imperial city and home to the remains of a vast Muslim empire that ruled most of North Africa. The city's architecture, culture and history make it one of the most worth-visiting places in Morocco.
The city was founded in the 11th century by the Almoravids and was initially used as a military settlement. Under the Merinids, it became an important administrative center. The city saw its golden age as the imperial capital of Moulay Ismail following his accession to the Sultanate of Morocco.
Meknes is known as the "Versailles of Morocco" because of its beautiful palaces and gardens. Explore this less crowded Moroccan city to get the real experience of the local culture.READ MORE... SHOW LESS
The most famous monument in the entire city is the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail. Moulay Ismail was the emperor of Morocco back in the 17th and 18th centuries when he built Meknes as his capital city. He created a grand palace and mosque complex, where he was also buried. It is placed in the middle of the Meknes and it is known for its architecture and craftsmanship which is easily spotted throughout the entire structure. The actual mosque is not open to non-Muslims, but you can enter the outer parts of the complex and the tomb hall from where you can witness the pale-yellow courtyards' view.
Another impressive landmark of Meknes is the Royal Stables which was also built by Moulay Ismail in order to stable up to 12,000 horses.
Finally, Bab Mansour Gate to Medina is without any doubt one of the main attractions in Meknes! Bab Mansour is one of the largest gates in the world, standing almost 100 feet tall and 40 feet wide. Unlike other gates around Morocco, which were built to protect the city from invaders, this gate was built to celebrate Sultan Moulay Ismail's victory over the Moors in 1672. The gate was decorated with mosaic tiles, stucco, and carved cedarwood and is considered one of Morocco's finest examples of Islamic architecture.LEARN MORE SHOW LESS
While Bab Mansour Gate isn't actually in use today, you can use a smaller side door to enter the Old Medina! Meknes' Medina is a historic district full of winding alleys, markets, and beautiful architecture. It's filled with 17th-century gates, mosques, colorful buildings and local street markets, called souks, where you can find everything you wish; spices, clothing, handmade jewelry, pottery, leather goods, and other crafts.
While you're walking around Medina, have a stop by Place el-Hedim Square, the main square in Meknes. This plaza is used as a public square for livestock auctions but has since been renovated into a shopping area and meeting point. If you walk into Place Hedim, you will find all sorts of historic buildings in the city and the surrounding bustling markets. Walk around at night, where you can find different types of vendors, such as sellers of fresh-squeezed juices, carnival-like games, and food stands, or listen to Arabic musicians as you enjoy your dinner at one of the traditional restaurants.LEARN MORE SHOW LESS