Meknes Things to Do

  • cedar carvings, Bou Inania Medersa, Meknes
    cedar carvings, Bou Inania Medersa,...
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  • courtyard, Bou Inania Medersa, Meknes
    courtyard, Bou Inania Medersa, Meknes
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Most Recent Things to Do in Meknes

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    Place el Hedim

    by maykal Written Jun 23, 2011

    A good place to start exploring Meknes is the Place el Hedim, a large open space between the Medina and the Imperial City. During the day, not much happens here, so you'll notice the waiters trying to entice you in their cafes by waving menus at you, and the cluster of guides hanging around by the various impressive gates. But late afternoon, crowds begin to gather, and it becomes Meknes' answer to Marrakech's Djemaa el Fna, with musicians, fortune tellers, traditional healers, storytellers, balloon sellers and tricksters all performing to a mainly local crowd. The cafes and restaurants around the edge are great places to watch the action, although try to keep hold of your menu if you order food, as I noticed a lot of tourists having disputes when it came to pay the bill. My favourite was the friendly cafe at the far end of the square, which also had some good cakes.

    Place el Hedim, Meknes Place el Hedim, Meknes Place el Hedim, Meknes Place el Hedim, Meknes Place el Hedim, Meknes

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    A poet or philosopher on every street of Medina

    by dutchboycalledjan Written May 2, 2011

    We loved to walk through the medina of Meknes, more than the souks. We loved to visit the small shops of crafts people, working iron, silver, wood, garments. People were very friendly, friendlier then in Marrakech. A large part of the streets have been very well paved - we travelled with a wheel chair.

    The best part was the day market, near the Bab El Jedid, busy with people, colours and smells. The views on the country site, near the Bab El Bardain are great to. The white smoke is from a village were the make porcelain, the black smoke from a village specialized in bricks.

    We were guided around by a local man, very friendly, who showed us that there was a philosopher or poet on every street. We paid him 100 dirham for 2 and a half hour. He also told us that the different colours of the house symbolize the different back grounds of its owner. I've included a picture of the only Arad (red)/ Jew (white) house. Grey was for Berber, if I remember correctly.

    The market Outside the gate Three different back grounds

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    Place el-Hadim

    by iaint Written Dec 27, 2009

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    This is perhaps the centrepiece of the medina, and the guide book reckons it used to be like the Djemaa el-Fna in Marrakech. Then the municipality tried to gentrify it, and it lost its charm.

    You have the Bab el-Mansour gates on the south side, and the entrances to the souks on the north. Sunday afternoon the locals seem to pile into the souks, and hang around the square looking for entertainment.

    I came across a pair of snake “charmers” hustling away and drawing the crowds. They had several vipers (including a tiny horned one) and something a little less toxic to hang around your neck for a photo opportunity. Be prepared to hand over some loose change to watch the show!

    Sunday afternoon street entertainment the wildlife
    Related to:
    • Theater Travel
    • Music
    • Arts and Culture

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    Bab el-Mansour

    by iaint Written Dec 26, 2009

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    The Bab el-Mansour gate is the main entrance to Moulay Ismail’s imperial city, facing onto the place el-Hadim.

    It is in good condition and the zellij (mosaic tiles) are impressive – although a bit faded. The gate was completed by Moulay Ismail’s son - Moulay Abdullah.

    It’s also a good place to shelter from rain showers!

    the gates
    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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  • iaint's Profile Photo

    Meknès Museum

    by iaint Updated Dec 26, 2009

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    This is a small affair, but like my motto on VT explains...les petites sont souvent les meilleures.

    20 MAD to get in (€1.80). It'll take you 30 mins max to go round.

    It has some interesting stuff - in particular the jewelry and clothing. They could do with explaining some of it some more. It's not a language thing - some of the info in Arabic seems a bit scant too.

    The building itself is attractive too.

    Worth a wee visit.

    lovely courtyard
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Arts and Culture

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    Moulay Ismail mausoleum

    by iaint Updated Dec 26, 2009

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    Moulay Ismail elevated Meknès to being the country’s capital in the 17th century, and is seen as one of the greats from the country’s history. He became the 2nd sultan of the Alawite dynasty in 1672, aged 25. That dynasty is still ruling today. It is thought he had at least 350 wives or concubines, and estimates go up to 500. He had 800 children by the time he died…Probably best to google him for all the gory details of his rule!

    The actual tomb area of the mausoleum is not accessible to non-Muslims, but you can view it from an ante chamber right next door.

    The interior is utterly beautiful. Jaw dropping - literally.

    You come in off the street thru' a magnificent gateway. Watch out for an old guy dressed up as a Berber (maybe he is one) who tries to get in your camera shot so that he can claim his fee.

    You then pass through 2 small entrance courtyards (both completely empty) before reaching the main courtyard. That's where you take off your shoes to enter the tomb area. Seems to be the custom to leave a few coins for the guy who "watches" your shoes, but there is no entrance fee.

    entrance the ante chamber the largest courtyard 2 of the inner entrances ante chamber ceiling
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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    Madrasat Abou Inan

    by Doctor38 Updated Nov 16, 2008

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    This school was built in 1345 by Sultan Abo Al- Hassan Almareeni (aka The Black Sultan) who also built Chillah, although for some reason it is named for his son Sultan Abo Inan. Both sultans are barried at chillah. You can enter this school daily from 9-12 and 3-6. It will cost 10 dh. You are free to take as many picture as you want. The school is located near the grand mosque.

    The school has 2 floor surrounding acourt yard, There is a prayer hall and lots of class room. This is a superb example of high craftsmanship.

    Students were entitled to free boarding.

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    Mausoleum of Ben Issa

    by Doctor38 Updated Nov 16, 2008

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    This tomb is located in the Cemetery to the north eastern part of the city. It is located near Bab jadid, so ask about this gate and head to it. The Mausoleum is interesting and contain a tomb of Sidi ben Issa. Needless to say that I did not take a picture of the interior of the mosque or the tomb. The tomb hall was full of people who are seeking the blessing of the Sidi Ben Issa. So who was Ben Issa?l

    He established the Aissaouia Cult and enabled his followers to eat every thing from scorpion to glass and poison. This bizarre action has made this cult very popular and gave it a big following. There is a yearly moussem (May/June) in which the followers will enter into a trans stage and perform all sorts of bizarre things. These actions are outlawed. If you are not a Muslim you won't be allowed to enter the mosque and the tomb.

    While I was sitting, women came in Seeking the blessing of the dead man. She pays few Dirhams to of the tomb guardians who start singing in a very comical way. It was so funny that I nearly giggled.

    The mosque and tomb of Ibn Issa

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    Place Lehadem

    by Doctor38 Updated Nov 16, 2008

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    This is a public place just like DJamee Elfanaa in Marrakesh; it is a shame that it is not used the same way. You'll find non of the atmosphere which is strange. You'd think that some one from Meknas visited Marrakech and said "hmmm we can do the same thing in Meknas". Actually It was very lively in the past but it is not the way any longer.

    It has few restaurants on the western wall. Dar Aljamee museum is just to the north. The old Medina is located to the east and the north. Bab Almansour, Mouly Ismail Mausoleum, the Royal Palace is located to the south.

    This place was created by Mouly Ismail and he called sahat al hadem WA albena "the place of destruction and building". only alhadem remained in the current name and it means destruction :-)

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    Dar Aljamee museum

    by Doctor38 Updated Nov 16, 2008

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    This house was built in 1882 by the Prime Minister Mohammed Aljamai. He never got to live in it as he had to relocate to Fes to be next to his nephew king Hassan the first. His brother actually lived in this house until the death of the King Hassan I. Moulay Abdul Aziz who ruled Morocco after the death of his father wasn't very kind to Aljamai brothers (his grand uncles) he imprisoned them in Tetouan and toke over their possessions. This building was used by the French as a hospital in the 1916 (St Lois Hospital) and then used as a governmental building, followed by fine art school and finally into a museum.

    The house is very impressive. It has few furnished rooms, a neglected garden, in addition to a collection of display of ceramics, jewellery and the like. The museum is located to the north of Place Elhadem. It will cost you 10 DH to enter. Visiting daily from 9-12 and 3-6 daily closed on Tuesday. Photography not allowed but the house was empty so I was able to take 5 pictures

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    The Grand Mosque

    by Doctor38 Updated Nov 16, 2008

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    This mosque was built by Yousef Ben Tashafin. The Great Moravid Sultan who built Both Marrakish and Meknas. The mosque was renovated during Mohammed Alnasser in 1199 as indicated by the inscription. It has a central court yard and three big prayer halls interconnected. I was able to take 3 pictures from inside the mosque before I was told that I should stop. This mosque is located in front of Madrasat Abou Inan.

    Setting in front of the abalation fountain Mosque anterior from the out side door from the prior hall looking out side

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    The road to Heri Essoari, The Royal Palace

    by Doctor38 Updated Nov 16, 2008

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    To get from Mouly Ismail mausoleum to Heri Essoari you can take a petit taxi. I didn't, instead I walked for 15 minutes each way. It was mid August and 11 o'clock noon so I don't suppose it will not get more difficult than that. It was a pleasant walk and I read somewhere that Moulay Ismail used to love walking down this road or ride his horses or chariot and I certainly can see why.

    You get to see the gates of Royal palace. I toke few pictures of the gates (Not the main one though). The road is located between 2 high walls, the Medina on you left and the Royal Palace to your right when you are heading to the Heri Essoari.

    The Royal Palace The medina wall has tree on it The lights are the side as Royal palace

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    Heri Essoari

    by Doctor38 Updated Nov 16, 2008

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    This place is built by Mouly Ismail. It used to function as a stable for his Horses that were estimated to be 15000 as well as a storage for grains and water. This building was destroyed by an earthquake in 1755 which destroyed many buildings in the city. The first few raw were restored and should give an idea who the entire place looked like. The remaining columns that are fascinating to walk around and photograph. There are plenty of underground channels to store water. This places was a setting for Last Temptation of Christ movie.

    You can visit this place daily from 9-12 and 3-6 for 10 dh%*

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    Christian Prison

    by Doctor38 Updated Nov 16, 2008

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    This is a 7 Hectare underground hall. Its huge and impressive. It was used a prison and a storage space. The place is huge. There are 3 tunnels heading towards Fes, Mouly Idress and Middle Atlas mountain.

    The entrance to the Prison one of the tunnels, now sealed another view of the sealed tunnel

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    Ambassedor’s Pavilion

    by Doctor38 Updated Nov 16, 2008

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    This was built by Mouly Isamil @ the end of the 17th century. It will cost you 10 dh to visit. The visiting hour from 8:30-noon and 3-6 daily. The ticket is also good to visit the underground prison/storage area.

    The entrance to the Pavilion Inside The Pavilion

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Meknes Things to Do

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