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Mekness
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Information about Mekness

Information about Meknes

Strategically located in the northern center of the country, 267 km south of Tangier (between three to four hours away); 60 km west of fez, only an hour from there, which makes it an ideal base for exploring this part of Morocco. It is also very near Rabat, just 138 miles east, about two hours.

Meknes is an imperial city, it is well connected by rail and highway becomes waypoint to reach fez coming from Tangier, so for those who can only travel in the afternoon is better to stay in Mekness and do the next day an excursion to fez. Thus, first you will visit more things and time spent in reaching fez what repartes with the day of the visit to Fez.

Meknassa was founded by Berbers in the ninth century, but until 1069 did not acquire its true importance when the Almoravids built a bastion and citadel.

After passing through many sieges, conquests, dropouts and reconstructions, Mekness reached its peak under the rule of Moulay Ismail (s xvi) who made it the capital of the Sultanate, like did Abderraman I with Cordoba at the time of Al Andalus.

This Alaouite sultan, embellished Meknes giving it more than forty kilometers of walls with monumental gates, manicured gardens, impressive mosques, magnificent fortresses and made it his first palace, Dar Kebira (Casa Grande).

The result was that he bequeathed to us one of the most monumental cities across Morocco, to which it has not usually given the right importance in the usual tourist haunts and sure it worths a trip to know it thoroughly. After all Meknes has much more to see than Fez as it retains most visited monuments that its competitor offering the largest medina in Morocco and little else.

What to do

What to do in Mekness

Mequinez

Besides touring the walls, stroll through the medina and haggling in the souks, you can go to the square hedim, vast esplanade (200m long by 100 wide), lively in the evening, like all places in Morocco. Bordered by modern buildings, including a food market, where you will find fruits, vegetables, nuts, dates and biscuits all carefully exposed that make it a unique and magical place.

Bab El Mansour

Puerta del victorious renegade, it was began during the reign of Moulay Ismail and finished his son. It is colossal and considered one of the finest in the country. Located in the square hedim and used as an exhibition hall. This door met different uses, military holding meetings, reception of illustrious personages of the court of the Pasha of the city, and before her numerous military and religious ceremonies were organized.

The Dome of the Ambassadors

In the square Al-Khayyatin there is admission charge, open 9-15 and 15-18 hours. Known popularly as the dome of the tailors, that was the last use recently before becoming a visitable monument. This great hall of the sixteenth century was the place chosen by Moulay Ismail to receive ambassadors who came to rescue the Christian prisoners of the battles of al Andalus. In all friezes decorated with stucco and tile mosaics, you can read "The power is in Allah".

Volubilis

Ancient Roman town at the foot of Mount Zerhun, this archaeological site is possibly the best preserved of this area of North Africa. It was in the second century a city whose prosperity was based on the production and trade of oil, wheat and wild animals for circuses. It was included in the list of World Heritage of UNESCO in 1997.

Mausoleum of Mulay Ismail

It is one of the few places in Morocco which allows access to non-Muslims. This royal funerary complex category, is located next to Dar el Kebira. In this place chosen by Moualy Ismail, was worshiped another local marabout. It is an architectural jewel that has nothing to envy to the Alhambra in Granada, with the difference that many of the pieces that are there are original to the period that have been lovingly restored under King Mohamed V.

The Silos

Known as Dar al Majzen, is located north of the citadel and was the place chosen by Moualay Ismail to ensure their power and independence against possible invasion. There they stored wheat and other foods that allow them to be supplied to potential sieges from the outside.

Kisaria

It is the market damascene craftsmen. In the Dlala area near the mosque is organized every day at 15h, except Friday, there you will see a auction Berber carpets and rugs.

Museums

Museums

Museum Dar Yamai.

Very close to Bab el Mansour, at the end of the square. It is a small museum that worth visiting for its architectural structure more than its content, but has occasional carpet and interesting pieces. It is a typical example of what is called RIAD or house with garden.


Madrassah Bouinaniya

It is at the end of the road around the mosque. Has entrance fee, open from 9-12 and from 15 to 18. It is of the fourteenth century, occupies an area of 315 square meters and in it there are inscriptions recall perfectly on behalf of whom became the emir of believers. From the terrace there are magnificent views of the medina.

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