Meknes city originality and history
Last Updated: January 3, 2023

Mohssin Mazar

The city of Meknes, which was founded by Moulay Ismail. It has historical significance and features impressive architecture. Where the city displays the ancient gate of Bab Mansour, as well as the vibrant old city. They call it complex tiles. Meknes also houses the beautiful granaries of Heri Souani, which offer stunning views of the Atlas Mountains. In addition, it hosts the International Horse Festival, which attracts tourists from all over the world. With its rich cultural heritage, Meknes remains a captivating destination.

Meknes city originality and history

Meknes, which was founded by the Almoravids as a military outpost in the eleventh century. It became the capital during the reign of Moulay Ismail (1672-1727). Creator of the Alawi dynasty. He created a magnificent city in the Spanish-Moorish style, surrounded by high walls pierced with massive gates. It embodies the harmonious alliance of the seventeenth-century Maghreb between Islamic and European styles.

Meknes is a city and municipality in Morocco that serves as the capital of the homonymous prefecture in the Fez-Meknes region. It is also located on the Sass Plateau between the Rif Mountains and the Middle Atlas. And also the valley of Oued Boufkran crosses its territory.

The region of Meknes has been inhabited by people since the Neolithic era. In its northern suburbs, the archaeological site of the ancient Mauritanian capital, Volubilis, is also located. Which was also the capital of the first Muslim dynasty in Morocco. The Almoravids founded the city In the eleventh century as a military outpost.

It was the country’s capital during the reign of Ismail ibn Sharif (1672-1727), who ordered the construction of many monuments. Including the high walls that surrounded the historic core of the city and 70 gates.

Therefore, Meknes is one of the four imperial cities of Morocco and has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1996 as a historical city consisting of two components: the ancient city and the imperial city. under French protection. The city saw the establishment of a large European community and the expansion of its territory beyond its fortification

Meknes city food and traditions

Meknes is famous for its delicious cuisine and cherished traditions. The city’s culinary delights include savory dishes such as pastilla and lamb tagine, which tantalise the taste buds of locals and visitors alike. Meknes also hosts traditional tea ceremonies. Where mint tea denotes grace and hospitality. Festivals, such as the Meknes International Festival of Folklore, showcase the city’s vibrant cultural heritage through music and dance. and traditional dress. With its delicious food and cherished habits. Meknes also offers a truly immersive and unforgettable experience.

Outstanding Universal Value

The historic city of Meknes was greatly influenced by the development of civil and military architecture (the Kasbah) and artistic creations. The powerful Meknassa Berber tribe, who ruled eastern Morocco up to Tafilalet in the eighth century, led the Almoravids to establish it as a military outpost in 1061 AD.

In the Sass plain, between the Middle Atlas and the pre-Rifan mountains of Zerhoun, it has a remarkable geographical position. It consists of the ruins of the Medina which bear witness to the ancient socio-economic fabric and the imperial city built by Sultan Moulay Ismail (1672-1715).

The global importance of this urban heritage is due to the fact that this historical city contains rare antiquities. Significant implications exist in the midst of an urban space undergoing radical transformation. A series of fences separate the two groups from one another.

In addition to its interest in Spanish-Moorish architecture and style, Meknes is of great importance because it is the first major work of the Alaouite dynasty and thus reflects the greatness of its architect. It also provides a fascinating approach to urban design, combining elements of Islamic and European architecture and urban planning.

Meknes city

The main sights, including twenty-five mosques, ten baths, palaces, and enormous granaries. The remains of the fendouks (hotels for merchants), and private residences, are protected by the city’s high defensive walls, pierced by nine massive gates.

Meknes is distinguished by its monumental appearance and fortifications. which reaches a height of 15 meters. It is a prominent example of fortified settlements in the Maghreb. It is an estate that represents the remarkably complete urban and architectural build-up of the capital of North Africa in the seventeenth century, and combines Islamic and European elements in a harmonious way. The historic city of Meknes. Enjoys the princely city plan. It also embodies the earthen (milk) architecture of sub-Saharan cities in the Maghreb.


The Almoravids founded it in the 11th century as a military outpost. In the 11th century. The Almoravids constructed a fortress called Takrart adjacent to the villages and gardens. It was the core of the future medina of Meknes, which progressively saw the settlement of people from neighboring towns.

Meknes city Geography

Meknes is located on the Sass plateau. approximately 500 meters above sea level. Between the Middle Atlas in the south and the pre-rural highlands in the north. The Boufakran Valley, which separates the city from the new “Al-Hamriya” city, passes through the city. Meknes is one of the four imperial capitals of Morocco. The historic city of Meknes. Including the ancient city and the imperial city, it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996 and has carried out many site restoration projects (walls, gates, alleys, public squares, etc.) since then. Because of its diverse culture. It is now among the most important Mediterranean and Arab capitals. The famous Lahdim Square underwent two renovations in 2007.


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