Meknes, or also Amknas, is a city of Morocco located 138 km east of Rabat and 60 km west of Fez. This is one of the four imperial cities of Morocco. Strategically it is located in the north center of the country, which makes it an ideal base to visit this part of Morocco and as we said before is also very close to Rabat, only about two hours.
It is an imperial city that is perfectly connected by train and motorway, it becomes a point of way to arrive to fez coming from Tangier, reason why for those who can only travel in the afternoon it is better to make night in meknes and the next day to realize An excursion to fez.
Visitors can come to this city by bus. The best way to get around this city is by taxi. Getting around is not a problem for any of the visitors who come here. Travelers can visit most of the tourist attractions in Meknes unlike the neighboring city of Fez. There are many things to do in Meknes and visitors will always find something to keep them occupied.
What to see in Meknes
In addition to touring the ramparts, getting lost in the medina and haggling in the souks, the traveler should head to Mulay Ismail’s Mausoleum, the gates of Bab El Mansur, Bab Berdain and Bab El-Jemis, the Adgal Pond, the Medersa Bou Inania, the fabulous Gardens of the Sultans, the granaries (Heri es-Suani), the gigantic stables and the Moroccan Art Museum in Dar Jamai.
In the vicinity of Meknes (26 kms.) Stands Moulay Idriss. This city is the scene of one of the busiest moussems. Every year, in August and September, thousands of faithful flock to Moulay Idriss, attracting also interested travelers and giving rise to a lively event with a lot of traditional color.
At 27 kms. Of Meknes are the ruins of the Roman city of Volubilis, residence of the procurators of Mauritania Tingitana, from the first century AD.
Places of religious interest
- Moulay Ismail Mausoleum
- Nejjarine Mosque: Erect mosque in the 10th century. It is located in the center of the medina.
- The Great Mosque: It was probably founded in the 11th century by the Almoravids. It stands out mainly for 11 doors and 143 arches in addition to its beautiful carved roofs.
- Jamai Roua Mosque: built in 1790 by Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah.
- The Sheikh Kamel mausoleum: built by Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah, which houses the tomb of El Hadi Benaissa, founder of the “Aissaúas”.
- Bab Mansour: It is considered one of the most beautiful gates in the world. The door was completed in 1732 by Mulay Abdallah son of Mulay Ismail, the most influential sultan in the history of Morocco. The proportions of this gate are majestic.
- Lahboul Garden: located in the urban area of Medina Al-Ismailia. It contains a zoo and an outdoor theater.
- Real Golf: It is located within the walls of Moulay Ismail. It consists of nine (9) holes. The sport can be played with artificial light.
- El hedim Square : (meaning “square of the ruins”) A picturesque large square located in front of Bab Mansour, meeting point of the medina and the Imperial City, this vast esplanade is essential to access the souks. It reminds us a little to the Jemaa el Fna square in Marrakech. It is a rectangular square surrounded by more homogeneous buildings than those of its older sister of Marrakech. Around this square are many terraces of restaurants. It is a magnificent place to enjoy a Moroccan tea while we contemplate the life of the square.
- Meknassa ez-Zeitoun (Meknasa of the Olives) is a Berber foundation of the ninth century, but until 1069 did not take its true character, it was then when the Almoravids built a bastion and a citadel.