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|Le Meknes - the Imperial City|
A dream made reality, set in the heart of the Moroccan countryside! Meknes, the imperial city built by Moulay Ismaïl. With tireless effort and unrelenting will, he undertook the task of making this town into a capital worthy of his image. Palaces, mosques, fountains, terraces, gardens, stables and shops were built without any respite over a period of 50 years to fill the gigantic space contained within the mighty ramparts. This was Moulay Ismaïl's unfinished vision - and ever since,
Meknes has never ceased to make others dream... Its monumental gates, opening in the mighty walls, give access to the wonders of the city. Bab al-Mansour, the main and finest gate in Morocco, leads to the immense mechouar where stands the moving mausoleum of Moulay Ismaïl. Its monuments and the sumptuous glory of its palaces will not be forgotten. The Jamaï palace for example, former residence of a vizier, now houses the Museum of Moroccan Arts with its rich collections of porcelain, embroidery, carpets, wood carvings and jewellery.
There is also the amazing colour and variety of everyday life, Which can be observed in the way a merchant unfolds a piece of blue cloth in the kissarias (commercial center), or in a long drawn out session of bargaining in the Bab Jedid, or by contemplating the concentration on the face of a craftsman engraving a silver bracelet in the souks, or again in the deft hands of an artist painting on wood...
The countryside around Meknes is also a delight; lush and peaceful, gently rolling and planted with olive trees, where the ancient Roman City of Volubilis has slumbered for more than two thousand years. A countryside which gives views onto Mount Zerhoun, on which is perched the holy City of Moulay Idriss, the City of green roofs.
NOT TO BE MISSED
MAUSOLEUM OF MOULAY ISMAEL
In the first court, a charming fountain is used for ablutions. Ceilings are painted cedar. The third court has an Italian marble fountain and a sundial dating of the XVII century. In order to enter the mosque, you must remove your shoes. You can see there mosaics with koranic writings. Near the tombs of Moulay Ismaïl and its two sons, you will see two pendulums presented by Louis XIV, King of France. Moulay Ismaïl received this gift when the French king refused to grant him his daughter's hand in marriage. The marble columns which support the room were restored in 1957.
THE MARKET OF THE MEDINA (Old town)
On the left of El-Hedim square, behind the arcades of potters, you can find one of the most beautiful and the most lively covered markets in Morocco. There are many varieties of spices and olives, but also multicolored birds. You better arm yourself with a bouquet of mint in order to face the alley of hens and the sheep : the spectacle is worth.
BAB MANSOUR El ALEUJ
The most important and the most remarkable door of Meknès. It was completed in 1732 by the son of Moulay Ismaïl. People said that it must be the work of a Christian who converted to Islam, that is why it is also called the door of the renegade.
Morocco villa in Meknes, the imperial city. Spacious and secluded vacation rental, yet close to palaces, terraces, restaurants, and more. 3 living rooms, 3 brm. A villa with comfort and space.