Monday, January 4, 2010

Meknes, Morocco

Meknes is a city in northern Morocco, located 130 kilometres (81 mi) from the capital Rabat and 60 kilometres (37 mi) from Fes. It is served by the A2 expressway between those two cities and by the corresponding railway. Meknes was the capital of Morocco under the reign of Moulay Ismail (1672–1727), before it was relocated to Marrakech. The population is 950,322 (2006 estimate). It is the capital of the Meknes-Tafilalet region. Meknes is named after a Berber tribe which was known as Miknasa in the medieval Arabic sources. Meknes the ismaili capital, founded in the 11th century.
Meknes is a vibrant, modern city bustling with nightlife, restaurants and an impressive royal palace. Since it's relatively ignored by most tourists, it's also free of the usual hassles (touts, faux guides, etc) that plague the other tourist centers.
Meknes is also famous by the delicious olives and fruits farms.
like any other moroccan city, meknes hotels and riads are making of it a jewel.
Life a "fata morgana" (mirage) looming up out of the rock in the heart of the Moroccan countryside, the former royal city of Meknès is yet another unexpected delight this country has to offer. One of Morocco's most beautiful historical cities, its twenty-two kilometres of town wall, monumental gates and the ruins of an immense palatial complex form an impressive and curious backdrop for the meeting point of Morocco's main roads.
The 17th century sultan Moulay Ishmail wanted to create a royal capital here that would rival Versailles. He had an army of bricklayers, black slaves and several hundred captured Christian slaves build 120km of town wall, dream palaces, stables for 12,000 horses, hanging gardens watered by a 4 hectare pond and immense storage sheds. After almost a century of construction, he left one of the most beautiful cities in Moorish-Arabic style in the world.
Meknès was chosen as an UNESCO world legacy of civilization, for its medina and the ruins of the royal palace. A crowd of merchants, fire-eaters and acrobats gather together at dusk, in Place El-Hedime with its huge market. The city has an unforgettable and easy-going medieval ambience. In addition, Meknes has several palaces, spectacular mosques and madrassas behind its fortified walls that feature many grand entrances, and the world famous Bab Mansour.

So many thanks to my lovely friend, Hadib

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