Meknes city is an ancient historical city located in the northern part of the Maghreb state in the continent of Africa.
It is about 140 km from the Moroccan capital Rabat to the east, and it rises from sea level about 546 km. It is worth mentioning that its Berber name means warrior, and we will talk about it in This article in some detail.
Its geographical location is characterized by a moderate climate in summer, and cold in winter, which made it a fertile agricultural wealth that generates huge profits for the country, where there are many cultivations of olive trees, and vineyards that are exported to Europe due to its quality and distinction, as well as its surrounding mountain ranges, such as the favourite Ifrane mountain range.
Tourists have it full of gorgeous villas, plus it includes a mountain ski area called Michlifen and Heri.
Tourist attractions in Meknes City
Meknes Morocco was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List as a unique Moroccan cultural heritage in the world, in 1996 AD during the twentieth meeting of the World Heritage Committee, and certainly, the issue of its inclusion did not come from a vacuum but was a natural reaction to protect its archaeological monuments, Examples of them are the following:
- The Meknes medina: The old town is a lively and bustling place filled with colorful local markets and winding lanes, and is an ideal destination for shopaholics, offering plenty of textile stalls, along with many traditional Moroccan craft shops in addition to the famous clothes and slippers shops in Morocco. meknes medina also includes many wonderful historical buildings worth visiting, which are still located between the ancient walls and walls characteristic of this area, which will take you on a journey to the ancient past and rich history without getting bored.
- The mausoleum of Moulay Ismail: It is considered a tourist place with distinction. It includes the remains of the founder of the Meknes city, Moulay Ismail, along with two other kings. The mausoleum of Moulay Ismail is located near Bab Mansour, which is considered one of the largest and most beautiful historical gates. The mausoleum also includes wonderful fountains designed in a unique geometric way, in addition to a sundial, Near the mausoleum there is an old market where souvenirs from a city famous for its power and peace, it won the titles (the Ismaili capital) and (the olive sweeper).
- Bab El Mansour: is located in Meknes, and it overlooks El Hedim Square. It was founded by Moulay Ismail, and its construction was completed by his son Moulay Abdallah around 1732 AD. This door is distinguished by its large dimensions, as it contains an opening of 8 meters high.
- Moulay Idriss: Zarhoun or Malay Idriss Zarhoun is a mountainous Moroccan city, located near the Meknes city. It was named after the founder of the Idrisid state. This city represents the capital of the first Islamic state in Morocco and Africa, independent of the Levant since the sixth century AD, and despite its small size, it is significant in its symbolism and history in relation to the Moroccan civilization, the Maghreb and North Africa. It is an important religious place for Muslims, and a religious festival is held there that attracts thousands of Muslims annually.
- Hedim Square: It is one of the most famous tourist places in Meknes, and it is considered the heart of Meknes medina, and it is located inside this large square “Bab El Mansour”. For parades of armies before going out in organized campaigns against foreign opponents wishing to occupy the country. Hedim Square has a more local flavor than others. This square is a nice place to stop and get a cup of coffee in one of the cafes there, in addition to the fact that there are restaurants with a range of delicious Moroccan food options.
- The ancient city of Volubilis: One of the most important tourist places in Meknes morocco, which is an archaeological city dating back to the third century BC, located 30 km west of the Meknes city. The city includes two main buildings, the main building and the Roman temple. Built in a fertile agricultural area, it developed from the 3rd century BC onwards as a Phoenician city, then Carthage, before becoming the capital of a Mauretian kingdom.
- Dar Jamai Palace: is a museum in Meknes city, It was built during the nineteenth century AD. This landmark has been turned into a museum since 1920 AD under the name “Museum of Local Arts” to be renamed Dar Jamai Museum. Among its exhibits is the art of wood, both carved and dyed, architectural wood, home furniture wood, traditional dress and some precious silk belts, as well as an Andalusian-style pavilion with corridors of zellij and a booth for musicians and vocalists.
- Al Sufara dome: It is one of the most important Ismaili exploits in Meknes city. It is also known as the Al-Khayyat Dome, which is a hall with a pyramidal roof covered with green tiles, while its interior walls are decorated with zellij, topped by a plaster strip decorated with inscriptions on it. Sultan Moulay Ismail used to receive foreign ambassadors, who often came to negotiate about prisoners. And in the 19th century, it became a gathering place for tailors who sew military clothes, hence the name Tailors’ Dome.
- The Imperial City: has many interesting ancient ruins to explore, most of which date from the reign of Sultan Moulay Ismail. It houses the famous El Khayatine Dome, the former building of the ambassador, and is now part of the medina as a building open to the public and a small gallery in Meknes city. Next to the tomb of Moulay Ismail, there is her own palace, which is one of the distinctive palaces, which was built in the 17th century and is known as Dar El Kebir.
- Riyadh Park: it’s is considered a natural park, as it will give hikers an amazing view of the meknes medina and its neighboring neighborhoods, making it a natural pearl on the crown of the city of Meknes city. The park enables its visitors, children, adults and youth, to enjoy the beauty of this site in view of the important area of trees and other grassy areas, in addition to its availability on multiple facilities such as an entertainment space, two fountains, a waterfall, three swimming pools, theatrical cafes, a multi-specialty hall, recreational space and others. a sports center, a guard center, a modern restaurant and a traditional one.
- The Buanania School: It is an old scientific school, founded by the Marinid Sultan Abu al-Hasan, and then completed by his son Abu Inan Faris around 1345 AD. Its columns and doors received very wonderful decorations, including inscriptions, floral and geometric decorations on wood, gypsum, and ceramic tiles, and they still retain their splendor and grandeur, From the engineering point of view, the building contains a prayer hall, a courtyard, columns and a mihrab, all richly decorated with inscriptions. The Bouanania Madrasa is considered a masterpiece of Meknes architecture, and only the Great Madrasa in Marrakesh is preceded in Morocco in terms of grandeur.
If you are interested in a day trip Meknes, Volubilis, and Moulay Idriss and more landmarks, Check out this Viator trip for a reasonable price and good service.
Brief History of Meknes morocco
Meknes morocco was famous during the time of Moulay Ismail, who equipped the city and made it his capital during his reign that extended between 1672-1727 AD, while its history dates back to the eleventh century when the Almoravid state built it as a military institution, and the city was divided into two main parts.
French-European style due to the city’s subjection to French colonialism, and there is the ancient city called Versailles of Morocco, similar to the Versailles of Louis XIV in Paris.