Is a city in northern Morocco, located 130 kilometres (81 mi) from the capital Rabat and 60 kilometres (37 mi) from Fes.
Meknes was the capital of Morocco under the reign of Moulay Ismail (1672/1727), before it was relocated to Marrakech. The population is 985,000 (2010 census). It is the capital of the Meknes-Tafilalet region. Meknes is named after a Berber tribe which was known as Miknasa (native Berber name: Imeknasen) in the medieval North African sources.
Meknes is renowned for its vast historical significance and is one of the Imperial cities in Morocco. Inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage, Meknes is best known for its close links to Sultan Moulay Ismail who was responsible for the construction of the city ramparts and impressive gates. In fact, one of the grandest features of Meknes is the gate of El-Mansour, beautifully decorated with Almohad patterns and zellij mosaics. Today the gate houses an arts and crafts gallery.
The city of Meknes in Morocco is the ideal tourist destination. Filled with fascinating sights, rich in history, yet offering many modern conveniences, this vibrant destination will leave visitors with lasting memories. Tourists will certainly want to explore such attractions as:
Meknes City Gate : With its intricate horseshoe shape and beautifully decorated detail, ab al Mansour gate in Meknes is the most beautiful in Morocco-and one of the most iconic in the Muslim world.
Bab Al-Mansour Ruins in Meknes : The ruins that surround the gate of Bab al-Mansour stretch out for miles along the town walls, see the towers and adjacent complexes that once formed the heart of the town’s defences.
Heri es Souani Maknes : The ancient granaries and vaults that were once designed as a state of the art project under imperial supervision may be overgrown with foliage, but they haven’t lost their impressive architectural features.
The Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail : The most famous leader of Meknes, and the creator of much of its architectural splendour, is revered and remembered in this stylish, solemn mausoleum.
Jamai Palace Meknes :
Built as the residence of a vizier, this delicate palace within the town’s medina (old quarter) now houses the fascinating collection of the Museum of Moroccan Arts.
Moulay Idriss Zerhoun Meknes : From Meknes, rolling green hills extend towards Mount Moulay Idriss Zerhon, where the holy city of Moulay Idriss lays perched against a slope, famous for its green rooftops, it offers one of the most picturesque views of Moroccan town life.
The Volubilis : Not far from Meknes the Volubilis is the most important Roman site in this part of North Africa, built back in AD 40, this formerly imposing and sophisticated Roman town, inhabited not just by Romans but also by Greeks, Berbers, Jews and Carthaginians, built its wealth and power on the wheat trade.