Ranked “World Heritage of Humanity”, The historic city of Meknes has exerted a considerable influence on the development of civil and military architectural artwork, it also contains the remains of the royal city founded by sultan Moulay Ismail in the 17th century.
The 17th century sultan wanted to create a royal capital here, that would rival their side, he had an army of bricklayers, black slaves and several hundred captured christian slaves, built 120 km of town wall, fabulous palaces, staples for twelve thousand horses, hanging gardens, watered by a four hectare pond, and immense storage sheds. The city has preserved many of its magnificent monuments including numerous mosques adorned with beautiful sculpted canopies, which have earned it the nickname of "the City of a hundred minarets”; Ceramic tile seem to adorn every possible surface in Meknes from houses, fountains, palaces, mosques and public buildings.
With its Medina and markets, Meknes combines the attractions of the historic town with those of a picturesque city, basking in the glory of its majestic monuments, its medina, the remains of the Royal Palace, have earned Meknes a place on the UNESCO world heritage list.
The main sites in the Medina are buried in busy souks, founded in the 10th century by the Zenata Miknasa tribe, a Berber (Amazigh) tribe from eastern rif mountains, Meknes is been called the turntable of Morocco, for it's pivotal position between the Rif and middle Atlas Mountains, and between the Atlantic ocean and Sahara.
Morocco's Famous Ancient gate of Bab Mansour: An incredible gate and a spectacular example of Almohad architecture, situated on the Southeast side of Lahdim square, the Bab Mansour is created as a grandiose entrance to the Imperial City, the splendor and glamor of the Moroccan sultan's rule without any visitor who pass through the gate. Adopting a classical style of Almohad architecture, the facade is decorated with beautiful tile ornamentation. Among the the most impressive elements of the Imperial City was the Grand gate named after the architect el Mansour, a christian renegade who converted to Islam; The gate was completed five years after Moulay Ismail death in 1732.
EL Lahdim Square: Is a large rectangular Square located between the Medina of Meknes and the Imperial city, It is supported by the city walls and gates; Legend has it that the name Place El Lahdim which means square of destruction, originated in Moulay Ismail destruction of much of the old city to build the entrance to the imperial city.
Dar Jamai Museum: was built 1882, initially used as a family residence it was converted into a military hospital in 1912, and in 1920 it was made home to a museum of Moroccan art. The museum now ranks among Morocco's best, its exhibits vary, but generally focuses on traditional items such as ceramics, textiles and jewelry.
Royal Stables: Massive complex, constructed with mathematical precision
Koubbat As Sufara: Moulay Ismail's reception hall for foreign ambassadors, in the Pavilion in which Sultan Moulay n Ismail will receive foreign ambassadors next to the shaft leading down to a huge Crypt composed of small rooms which our thoughts have been used to store food.
Sahrij Swani or Heri es-Souani: -the tanker of the Norias- forms a major part of the complex, known as Hari Al-Sawani, and it is an artificial pond distinguished in size (148.75 meters long, 219 meters wide and 3.20 meters deep); Moulay Ismail built this cistern to ensure the water supply of the city's palaces and mosques, as well as public baths and private homes, orchards and fields that surrounded the city, and to secure its daily needs of vegetables and fruits, in case of siege and in periods of drought.
Madrasa Bou Inania: Was completed in 1358 and named after Sultan Abu Annan, it is adorned with fine examples of zalig mosaics and wood carvings, the splendid decorations adorning meknes's buildings are well-known; Made of both wood and stucco, the decorations feature intricate details and incorporate a variety of traditional Moroccan and Islamic patterns.