Theme Week Morocco – Meknes

Tuesday, 25 July 2017 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean
Reading Time:  7 minutes

Bab Mansour Gate © flickr.com - Chris Martin/cc-by-sa-2.0

Bab Mansour Gate © flickr.com – Chris Martin/cc-by-sa-2.0

Meknes is one of the four Imperial cities of Morocco, located in northern central Morocco and the sixth largest city by population in the kingdom. Founded in the 11th century by the Almoravids as a military settlement, Meknes became a capital under the reign of Sultan Moulay Ismaïl (1672–1727), the founder of the Alaouite dynasty. Using European slave labour Sultan Moulay Ismaïl turned it into an impressive city in Spanish-Moorish style, surrounded by high walls with great doors, where the harmonious blending of the Islamic and European styles of the 17th century Maghreb are still evident today. The urban population is estimated at more than 650,000 with the metropolitan population close to 1,000,000. It is the seat of Meknès Prefecture and an important economic pole in the region of Fès-Meknès.

Meknes is an economical center in Morocco with various products from the three economical sectors (agriculture, industry and services), which makes the city economically competitive and attractive for investments. A December 2015 World Bank report classified Meknes as one of the three most competitive cities in Africa. Two of those three competitive African cities are from Morocco: Meknes and Tangier. Meknes is considered to be the capital of agriculture in Morocco. And the Saïss plain is one of the fertile and rich plains in Morocco and Meknes is the center of this plain. Most of the services products in Meknes are related to Tourism due to the history of the old city district -Meknes Médina-. Of Morocco’s four Imperial Cities, Meknes is possibly the least well-known – not as large as Rabat, as fashionable as Marrakech, or as famous as Fez – and you might say that this is to its advantage as you’ll find this historic place quieter and more laid back than its sister cities. It’s an enchanting place to visit, with winding narrow streets, a classic medina and grand buildings that hail back to its time as the capital of Morocco. Nearby are the Roman ruins of Volubis and the tomb of Moulay Idriss – two of the most important historical sites in the kingdom. But Meknes is also a modern, lively city with a vibrant nightlife, plenty of bars and a welcoming attitude towards visitors.

Souk © Hiroki Ogawa/cc-by-3.0 Madrassa Bou Inania © Josep Renalias/cc-by-sa-3.0 Dar Kebira © Ben Bender/cc-by-sa-3.0 Bab Mansour Gate © flickr.com - Chris Martin/cc-by-sa-2.0 Bab El-Khemis © Bernard Gagnon/cc-by-sa-3.0 West part of Meknes Medina © Daemon11/cc-by-sa-4.0
<
>
Bab Mansour Gate © flickr.com - Chris Martin/cc-by-sa-2.0
Among the points of interests is the Médina – Historic City, a UNESCO World Heritage since 1996:

  • Volubilis This site is one of the most famous sites in Meknes. It is a site of Roman construction. It is located on a hill where tourists can see the spread out countryside and also see the pieces of the once tall and grandeur Roman villa. Many artifacts from this site are also located in the Rabat’s Archaeology Museum but the floors of the villas remain at the original site.
  • Medina Medina, or “Old Town”, is home to a 12th-century mosque called the Grand Mosque. It sits in the center of the Medina. Also, in the Medina is the The Dar Jamai. It was originally the home of the Jamai family. In 1920, it was made into the Museum of Moroccan Art. The museum still has the same interior designing as the house originally did. Most of the art is from around the Morocco region and there is a room decorated like it would have been in the 19th century. The museum is located in the El Hedem Square.
  • Dar El Makhzen palace, located in El Mechouar Stinia. It is sided by a 2 km-long corridor formed by two large walls. It was Moulay Ismaïl’s official palace.
  • Bab al-Mansour gate, named after the architect, El-Mansour. It was completed 5 years after Moulay Ismail’s death, in 1732. The design of the gate plays with Almohad patterns. It has zellij mosaics of excellent quality. The marble columns were taken from the Roman ruins of Volubilis. When the structure was completed, Moulay Ismail inspected the gate, asking El-Mansur if he could do better. El-Mansur felt complied to answer yes, making the sultan so furious he had him executed. Still, according to historical records, the gate was finished after Moulay Ismail’s death. The gate itself is now used as an arts and crafts gallery; entry is by a side gate. This is the main gate between the Medina and Imperial City of Meknes. It is designed with Almohad patterns and some of Volubilis’s columns were taken apart to build the wall.
  • Lahboul gardens. It houses a zoological garden and an open-air theatre.
  • Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail, built in 1703 by Ahmed Eddahbi.
  • Koubat Al Khayatin (“Ambassador’s Hall”): a pavilion in which sultan Moulay Ismaïl received foreign ambassadors.
  • Bab El Khemis: a large decorated gate from the 17th century.
  • Bab Berdaïne: a majestic gate built by Moulay Ismaïl in the 17th century.
  • Dar El Beida, a 19th-century palace built by sultan Mohammed ben Abdallah. It is currently home to the Royal Military Academy.
  • Agdal reservoir, built by Moulay Ismail. It measures 319 x 149 meters, with a depth of 2 m.
  • Cara subterranean prison.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on City of Meknes, LonelyPlanet.com – Meknes, Wikitravel Meknes, Wikivoyage Meknes and Wikipedia Meknes. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




Recommended posts:

Share this post: (Please note data protection regulations before using buttons)

Tournai in Wallonia

Tournai in Wallonia

[caption id="attachment_160793" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Town Hall © Grentidez[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Tournai is a Walloon city and municipality of Belgium located 85 kilometres southwest of Brussels, on the river Scheldt, in the province of Hainaut. Along with TongerenTongeren, Tournai is the oldest city in Belgium and it has played an important role in the country's cultural history. As is the case with many cities in Belgium there are a number of beautiful and friendly cafés and pubs in the Grand'Place. I...

[ read more ]

Las Tunas in Cuba

Las Tunas in Cuba

[caption id="attachment_240910" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © Christian Pirkl/cc-by-sa-4.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Las Tunas is a city and municipality in central-eastern Cuba. It is the capital of the Las Tunas Province and was named Victoria de Las Tunas from 1869 to 1976. In 2022, the municipality of Las Tunas had a population of 214,939. With a total area of 891 km² (344 sq mi), it has a population density of 240/km² (620/sq mi). The city of Las Tunas is located in along the Carretera Central (highway), between the...

[ read more ]

Jardins du Trocadéro in Paris

Jardins du Trocadéro in Paris

[caption id="attachment_27332" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Panorama from the Eiffel Tower at the sunset © flickr.com - Alexander Kachkaev/cc-by-2.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Jardins du Trocadéro (Gardens of the Trocadero) is an open space in Paris, located in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, bounded to the northwest by the wings of the Palais de Chaillot and to the southeast by the Seine and the Pont d'Iéna, with the Eiffel Tower on the opposite bank of the Seine. The main feature, called the Fountain of Warsaw,...

[ read more ]

Port Phillip Bay in Australia

Port Phillip Bay in Australia

[caption id="attachment_153657" align="aligncenter" width="590"] The memorial at Sorrento marking the site of the first British settlement on Port Phillip Bay in 1803 © Adam Carr[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Port Phillip (also commonly referred to as Port Phillip Bay or (locally) just The Bay), is a large bay in southern Victoria; it is the location of Melbourne. Geographically, the bay covers 1,930 square kilometres (480,000 acres) and the shore stretches roughly 264 km (164 mi). Although it is extremely shallow for its size, mos...

[ read more ]

Museum of Islamic Art in Berlin

Museum of Islamic Art in Berlin

[caption id="attachment_201326" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Aleppo Room © flickr.com - Richard Mortel/cc-by-2.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Museum of Islamic Art is located in the Pergamon Museum and is one of the Berlin State Museums. The museum exhibits a variety of works of Islamic art from the 7th to the 19th century from the area between Spain and India. The excavation activities in Ctesiphon, Samarra and Tabgha as well as the acquisition possibilities led to the fact that Egypt, the Middle East and Iran in ...

[ read more ]

Alhambra in Granada

Alhambra in Granada

[caption id="attachment_226717" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © panoramio.com - Sergey Ashmarin/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Alhambra (lit. 'The Red One') is a palace and fortress complex located in Granada, Andalusia, Spain. It is one of the most famous monuments of Islamic architecture and one of the best-preserved palaces of the historic Islamic world, in addition to containing notable examples of Spanish Renaissance architecture. The complex was begun in 1238 by Muhammad I Ibn al-Ahmar, the first Na...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Belarus - Homiel

Theme Week Belarus - Homiel

[caption id="attachment_228645" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Regional Drama Theater © Alexander Sokolov/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Homiel or Gomel is the administrative centre of Gomel Region and the second-most populous city of Belarus with 526,872 inhabitants (2015 census). Homiel is situated in the southeastern part of the country, on the right bank of the river Sozh, 302 km (188 mi) south-east of Minsk, 534 km (332 mi) east of Brest, 171 km (106 mi) south of Mogilev, 237 km (147 mi) west of Bryansk and 111 k...

[ read more ]

Theme Week India

Theme Week India

[caption id="attachment_196143" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Jal Mahal of Jaipur © Labhanshi Mittal/cc-by-sa-4.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]India (Bhārat), also known as the Republic of India (Bhārat Gaṇarājya), is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country by area and with more than 1.3 billion people, it is the second most populous country and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it ...

[ read more ]

The Maria Laach Abbey

The Maria Laach Abbey

[caption id="attachment_161229" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Aerial view © Dr.G.Schmitz[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Maria Laach Abbey (in German: Abtei Maria Laach) is a Benedictine abbey situated on the southwestern shore of the Laacher See (Lake Laach), near Andernach, in the Eifel region of the Rhineland-Palatinate. It is a member of the Beuronese Congregation within the Benedictine Confederation. The abbey was known for nearly 770 years as "Abtei Laach" ("Abbatia Lacensis" or "Laach Abbey", meaning the "Lake Abbey") until...

[ read more ]

Edinburgh - Books, beer and cookies

Edinburgh - Books, beer and cookies

[caption id="attachment_152534" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Hopetoun House © George Gastin[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland and the seventh-most populous in the United Kingdom. Located in the south-east of Scotland, Edinburgh lies on the east coast of the Central Belt, along the Firth of Forth, near the North Sea. Edinburgh is the seat of the Scottish Parliament. The city was one of the major centres of the Enlightenment, led by the University ...

[ read more ]

Return to TopReturn to Top
Former Portuguese fortress of Mazagan in El Jadida © M. Rais/cc-by-sa-3.0
Theme Week Morocco

Morocco, officially known as the Kingdom of Morocco (Arabic: al-Mamlakah al-Maghribiyah, literally The Western Kingdom), is located in the Maghreb...

City Hall and Lichtner Museum © JanGoldsmith/cc-by-sa-3.0
St. Augustine in Florida

St. Augustine (Spanish: San Agustín) is a city in the Southeastern United States, on the Atlantic coast in northeastern Florida....

© Heinz Albers/cc-by-2.5
Theme Week New Zealand – The Sky Tower in Auckland

The Sky Tower is an observation and telecommunications tower located at the corner of Victoria and Federal Streets in the...

Schließen