Meknes, the Roman city
Want to discover Meknes? There are a thousand ways to do it. Despite being a quiet and modern city, Meknés was one of the most powerful cities of the kingdom and its walls tell the most fascinating stories of Morocco. Meknés was an impressive city of Hispano-Moorish style surrounded by high walls pierced with monumental doors which today shows the harmonious alliance of Islamic and European styles in the Maghreb of the seventeenth century. Meknès is a city in northeastern Morocco, founded in 711 by the Meknassa tribe, from which the name of the city derives.
Located at a 130 kilometers from the capital Rabat, it is one of the four imperial cities of Morocco and the third largest City of the kingdom with a population of 519 296 inhabitants. The historical heritage of Meknes has been recognized as such since the beginning of the 20th century and part of the monuments, sites and areas classified as “national heritage” in Morocco.
Today, protected by forty kilometers of 15 m high defensive walls, pierced by nine monumental gates, it has preserved imposing key monuments, including twenty-five mosques which earned it the nickname ” Hundred minarets “. Among them, the Great Mosque, founded in the 12th century, is remarkable for its gates with beautiful carved awnings, ten Hammams, palaces, vast granaries, vestiges of Fondouks (hotels for merchants) Of the Almoravid, Merinid and Alawite periods.
Its Medina and the vestiges of the royal palace have earned Meknès to be classified as a World Heritage by Unesco. The city is still prosperous, taking advantage of the rich crops of the Saïs (cereals, olive trees and vines). It is considered an exemplary witness of the fortified cities of the Maghreb. It is a remarkably complete property representing the urban and architectural structure of a seventeenth-century of North Africa, harmoniously combining elements of Islamic and European design and planning.