Want to discover Meknes? There are a thousand and one ways to do so. A calm, flourishing and modern city nowadays, Meknes is one of the most notable cities in the kingdom that can share the most fascinating stories of Morocco with you.
It was an impressive Hispano-Moorish style city surrounded by high walls pierced by monumental gates which today shows the harmonious alliance of Islamic and European styles in the Maghreb of the 17th century.
Meknes is a city in north-eastern Morocco founded in 711 by the Meknassa tribe, from which its name derives and is 130 kilometres from the capital Rabat. It is one of the four imperial cities of Morocco and the third largest city in the kingdom with a population of 519,296.
The historical heritage of Meknes has been recognized as such since the beginning of the 20th century and is one of the monuments, sites and areas that are classified as "national heritage" in Morocco.
To this day, protected by some forty kilometres of defensive walls 15 metres high and pierced by nine monumental gates, it has preserved imposing key monuments, including twenty-five mosques which have earned it the nickname of "city of a hundred minarets".
Among them, the Great Mosque, probably founded in the 12th century, is remarkable for its doors with beautifully carved canopies; ten hammams; palaces; vast granaries; remains of fondouks (merchant hotels) as well as private dwellings, all bearing witness to the Almoravid, Marinid and Alaouite periods.
Its medina and the remains of the royal palace have earned Meknes a place on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The city is still prosperous, taking advantage of the crops of the rich plain of Saïs (cereals, olive trees and vineyards).
It is considered an exemplary example of the fortified cities of the Maghreb.
It is a remarkably complete representation of the urban and architectural structure of a 17th century North African capital, harmoniously combining elements of Islamic and European design and planning.
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