Sights in Meknes

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There are three categories of sights in Meknes. These are the constructions of Moulay Ismail, mostly south east of the Medina, the souqs and Medersa of the old Medina and the Roman ruins of Volubilis. Volubilis is dealt with in a separate section, so here you'll find the highlights of the first two. In any case be sure not to miss the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail. This is one of the very few religious buildings you are allowed to enter in Morocco, and the architecture and colors are really breathtaking.

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Place Administrative

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If you want to take a little stroll in the Ville Nouvelle stop by the Place Administrative.
 
Here you find the city-hall ("Hôtel de Ville"), the Tribunal ("Palais de Justice") and the main post office. The buildings that flank the square are nothing spectacular. They are built with the uniformity of modern city architecture, except one apartment building, designed by Le Corbusier.
In the middle of the place there is a pretty, artificial basin, where you can stop and rest. Here the Meknassi meet in the evening.

If you cross the Avenue Bengazi more..

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address:Meknès, Ville Nouvelle

Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail

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This site is still an important place of veneration for Moroccans, so you are requested to wear modest dress and you'll be asked to step out during prayers (prayer time is 5 minutes,5 times a day; great opportunity for bathroom calls or other errants).

The inside of the Mausoleum consists of a series of chamber, decorated with bright zellije and kufic writing. The mausoleum is not open to visitors neither during the siesta nor on Fridays.

The "Mausolée Moulay Ismail" is one of the main tourist attractions in Meknès.
As it can be more..

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address:Meknès, Ville Impériale

Bab Mansour El Aleuj

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Situated in the southeast side of the Place El Hedim, the Bab Mansour has been created as the grandiose entrance to the Ville Impériale, that would impress every visitor with the splendour and glamour of the Moroccan Sultan's rule.

Adapting the classical style of Almohade architecture, the facade is decorated with beautiful tile ornaments. An inscription celebrates God and the doings of the Alaouite Sultan Moulay Ismail, under whose rule the building of the gate was begun. Legend has it that the two marble columns, that flank the gate, were taken from more..

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address:Meknès, Ville Impériale, at the southeast side of the Place El Hedim

The Imperial City

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The constructions of the Imperial City will give a good idea of how the Sultan who built them, thought: on a huge-scale. A good morning of walking is needed to explore the stables and the storerooms of the palace complexes.

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Dar Jamai

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This museum (closed Tuesdays) is at the entrance of the Medina (place al Hedim) if you are coming from the mausoleum. The museum is one of the best in Morocco and has a very nice garden with fruit trees.

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The Souks

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The souks of Meknes are not as special or big as those in Fez or Marrakesh, but they are worth a visit. The main street is the covered bazar of Souq es-Sbat. It goes from the Grand Mosquee to the flea market at Souq Bezzarin.

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Bou Inania Medersa

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Open daily. Another good example of a Moroccan Koranic School. It was built in the 14-th century under the Merinides. There is a good view from the roof.

Bernhadette:
Similar to her famous sister in Fès, the Medersa Bou Inania in Meknès is one of the main attractions for visitors. It is usually overrun by tourists.

It is said to have been built in the 14th century (ca. 1336-1358) by the Merinide Sultans Abu Hassan and his son Abu Inan, after whom the Medersa is named.
You should make an effort and more..

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address:Meknès, Medina, next to the "Great Mosque"

Bassin de l'Agdal

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The "Bassin de l'Agdal" on the fringes of the Ville Impériale is a popular outing for the Meknassi, especially young families and the youth.
The Alaouite Sultan Moulay Ismail (1672-1727) had this large artficial basin build as a place of pleasure and recreation for his court. It is also said to have served for the irrigation of the palaces' parcs and gardens.
After an exhausting visit to the Medina and the Ville Impériale it's a nice place for reposing, even though it is a bit scant of green.

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address:The basin is located about 500 m south of the Mechouar of the Royal Palace Mhensha on the fringes of the Heri es-Souani, next to the quartier de Béni M'hammed.

Place El Hedim

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In order to get from the Bab Mansour to the museum Dar Jamai, you have to cross the "Place El Hedim" ("Square of Destruction"). Legend has it that the name originated in Sultan Moulay Ismail's building activities. He had torn down a number of houses that originally were part of the medina in order to form a large, presentable forecourt for the entrance to the Ville Impériale. It is said that initially the construction waste was piled on the premisses of the Place. Nowadays it is still not in its best condition, very "touristic" and a center for merchants and street more..

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Bab Berdayin

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If you walk to the northern part of the medina, leaving the usual touristic areas behind, the souks will get poorer and muddier. Beyond the Mosque El Berdayin there is the Place El Berdayin, that looks rather like a large parking-lot with some small shops and an internet-café.

At the upper part of the Place El Berdayin you will find the Bab Berdayin
("Gate of the saddlers"). It was built at the times of Moulay Ismail at the end of the 17th century. With just one arch, it is not as large as the famous Bab Mansour, but on the outside it is beautifully more..

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address:Meknès, Medina
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