Meknes was the capital of Morocco under Moulay Ismail, before it was relocated to Marrakesh; this was a very difficult operation in 1671, requiring enormous amounts of heavy lifting.
Founded in 1061 A.D. by the Almoravids as a military stronghold, its name originates from the Berber tribe Meknassa who dominated eastern Morocco back in the Tafilalet in the 8th century. It is in the Saïss Plain between the Middle Atlas and the massif of Zerhoun. It contains the vestiges of the Medina to the imperial city created by the Sultan Moulay Ismail (1672-1727).
Behind the high defensive walls, pierced by nine monumental gates, are twenty-five mosques, ten hammams, palaces, vast graneries, vestiges of fondouks (inns for merchants) and private houses, testimonies to the Almoravid, Merinid and Alaouite Periods.
Meknès voluminous ramparts reach 15 metres in height. It harmoniously combines Islamic and European conceptual and planning elements. Endowed with a princely urbanism, Meknes also illustrates earthen architecture (cobwork) of sub-Saharan towns of the Maghreb.
The Medina is a compact and overcrowded ensemble while the Kasbah is vast open area. The imperial city is differentiated from the Medina by its long corridors between high blind walls, the sombre maze of Dar el-Kbira, the wealth of Qsar el-Mhansha, the extensive gardens and the robust towers and bastions.
A management plan for the property is not yet available. Rehabilitation actions carried out so far, are based on a participatory safeguarding and valorisation strategy for this cultural inheritage. In 2003, the Municipal Council created a Service for Historic Monuments for the supervision and the implementation of rehabilitation programmes for local heritage in the community, to work in close collaboration with the Regional Inspection of Historic Monuments and Sites). The restoration of the monumental walls and gates as well as the rehabilitation of bastions, palaces, granaries, silos and fortresses, the restoration of the historic squares & redevelopment of the green areas are included.
Meknes contains the remains of the royal city founded by Sultan Moulay Ismail (1672-1727). The name goes back to the Meknassa, the great Berber tribe that dominated eastern Morocco as far back as the Tafilliet and which produced Moulay Idriss I, founder of the Moroccan state and the Idrissid dynasty in the 8th century AD.
The Almoravid rulers (1053-1147) made a practice of building strongholds for storing food and arms for their troops; this was introduced by Youssef Ben Tachafine, the founder of Marrakesh. Meknes was established in this period. The earliest part to be settled was around the Nejjarine Mosque, an Almoravid foundation. Markets congregated around the mosque, specializing in firearms, woodwork and metal products. Like other settlements of the time, Meknes was not fortified: walls were not added until the end of the Almoravid period.
The town fell into the hands of the Almohad dynasty (1147-1269) at the start of their rule: it was taken by the Caliph Abdelmoumen. The Great Mosque was enlarged during the reign of Mohamed Annacer. Water from the Tagma spring was brought to the town to serve the fountains, baths and mosques. At that time there were four sets of baths (hammam ), the location of which indicates how the town had spread.
During the subsequent Merinid period (1269-1374), refugees from Andalusia that fell to Christian forces helped to swell the population, among them a significant Jewish community. Following Merinid practice, Abou Youssof built a kasbah outside the old town, as well as the first of the three madrasas (Islamic schools). Other public buildings from the Merinid period included mosques, hospitals, libraries and fountains.
The founder of the Alawite dynasty, Moulay Ismail (1672-1727), made Meknes his capital city in the Hispano-Moorish style, it is impressive in both extent and construction. It is enclosed by high walls pierced by monumental gates. Within are the palace with its enormous stables, a military academy, vast granaries and water storage cisterns.
The Almoravid rulers (1053-1147) made a practice of building strongholds for storing food and arms for their troops; this was introduced by Youssef Ben Tachafine, the founder of Marrakech. Meknes was established in this period, at first bearing the name Tagrart (= garrison). The earliest part to be settled was around the Nejjarine mosque, an Almoravid foundation. Markets congregated around the mosque, specializing in firearms, woodwork, metal products, etc. Like other settlements of the time, Meknes was not fortified: walls were not added until the end of the Almoravid period.
The town fell into the hands of the Almohad dynasty (1147-1269),water from the Tagma spring was brought to the town to serve the various fountains, baths, and mosques. At that time there were four sets of baths (hammam). During the subsequent Merinid period (1269-1374) refugees from the Moorish centres in Andalusia that fell to Christian forces also helped to swell the population, among them a significant Jewish community. Following Merinid practice, Abou Youssof (1269-86) built a kasoan (only the mosque of which survives) outside the old town, as well as the first of the three medersa (Islamic schools) with which the Merinid rulers endowed Meknes.
After yesterday`s incident on the royal throne, the Control Authority on Child Access (C.A.C.A.)for Safe Humour in Internet Terminology (?), has just sent me a written warning me about scatological narratives. So, on this blog there will be no more references at all to farting, trumping, caca, poopoo, pipi, bum-bums, arses, titties, twats, burping, snot or ear wax. We may occasionally discuss bottoms, willies, fannies and bosoms, but not in a rude way.