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Morocco guide
Travel to Meknes, Morocco

Meknes, One of the kingdom's imperial cities, Meknes was founded in the 11th century and was chosen by Moulay Ismaïl in 1672 as capital of his empire. The city's unity of style lends it undeniable charm, enhanced still further by the beauty of the surrounding countryside. Moulay Ismaïl's creation was to be much talked of in the East and in Europe, most especially at the French court of King Louis XIV. The period was one of the high points in the city's rich history.

As well as its fabulous monuments, such as Dar El Makhzen palace, the Sidi Saïd mosque, Bab El Berdaine, Bab El Khémis, Bab El Mansour, Bab Jemaâ En Nouar, the Moulay Ismaïl Mausoleum and the Kouba El Khayatine, Meknes offers impressive views of the Agdal basin. Not far from Meknes, the Roman city of Volubilis is an unforgettable treat for the tourist.
The city is surrounded by 2,5 kilometers of ramparts, entered by six gates.

It was a thriving settlement until the 4th century, and fine mosaics, sculptures and kitchenware can be seen there. The city's architectural spender gives ample proof of its rich past.
27 kilometers from Meknes lies the holy city of Moulay Idriss, harbouring the sanctuary of the founder of the Idrissid dynasty. A yearly pilgrimage is made to the city in August and September, a great gathering of the region's multitude of tribes come to celebrate in solemn and meditative manner the moussem dedicated to the Saint of the city.

Visitors return from Meknes as if awakening from a dream-one might have been making use of the famous Time Machine. But one will never forget the skill of its goldsmiths, the dexterity of its merchants, the workmanship of its wood sculptors and the friendly hubbub of its souks.

An historic city whose splendor attracted architects, engineers and artists, Meknes and its surroundings

have remained unchanged for centuries. At sunset the Imperial city glows as the ramparts reflect the fading light. You can relax in the cool of its lush gardens. Or you can lose yourself in history at Moulay Idriss, by the tomb of the founder of the first Arab dynasty and among the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Volubilis. 
At sunset the Imperial city glows as the ramparts reflect the fading light. You can relax in the cool of its lush gardens. Or you can lose yourself in history at Moulay Idriss, by the tomb of the founder of the first Arab dynasty and among the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Volubilis

 

 

Dar Jamai Museum 
Sahat El Hadim
Meknès

Before housing the Meknes collections, the Dar Jamai had a number of different uses.
Built in 1882 to be the residence of the illustrious Jamai family, which included two of Moulay el-Hassan's ministers (1873-1894), it was used as a military hospital after 1912, only becoming the Museum of Moroccan Art in 1920.

The elaborate decoration with sculpted plaster and painted wood as well as the Andalusia garden planted with cypress and fruit trees, gives an accurate idea of the degree of luxury enjoyed by the prosperous bourgeoisie of Meknes.
Wrought iron work, wooden sculpture, weaving, leather working, brass and copper ware, metalwork... this museum is devoted to the crafts of the region.

Local craftsmen are particularly skilled in working and painting wood such as chests, panels, and moucharaby, in the use of rich colors for the decoration of their pottery and in the magnificent multi-hued embroidery for which they are so famous.


Volubilis Monument

Volubilis

The Roman ruins of Volubilis, stretched out over 40 hectares, are the most well preserved ruins in Morocco. If you go to Meknes, Volubilis is a great idea for a day trip.

HISTORY: The Romans began building the city of Volubilis somewhere around 40 AD in order to keep control of this north African region which was successively occupied by the Greeks, Berbers, Jews and Carthaginian merchants. In the second and third centuries, the region began to develop more rapidly when the Romans began cultivating grain. 

The Victory Arch, facing the main route and built in 217, in honor the Roman emperor Caracalla, formerly had a bronze chariot atop its ancient stones. It was restored in 1962.

On the other side, the house of Ephebe provides shelter for a remarkable mosaic depicting Bacchus on his chariot.

The Capitol was built facing the basilica, in 217 on a headland that towers over the bare and arid plain.

Le capitole de Volubilis

The best time of day to visit these monuments is at sunset when the shadows on the monuments grow longer... and when all the tourists have left!

The mosaics at Volubilis are what makes this site so spectacular.

You'll love the mosaic of the myth of Orpheus and Amphitrite's Chariot located in the house of a rich merchant.

Even if a number of the monuments were dismantled for their marble which was used in the construction of the palaces at Meknes, the mosaics were left in tact.

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