Bab means gate in moroccon and Bab Mansour is considered as being one of the fienst examples of Moroccon architecture.
Well, it's not that bad but whoever has been in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, cannot be anything but disappointed.
But, I enjoyed it anyway...
The resting place of the sultan who made Meknes his capital in the 17th century. Moulay Ismail is usually considered one of the greatest figures in MOroccan history. Non-muslim is nallowed to enter the Mausoleum. The Mausoleum is peaceful and beautifully displays Moroccan architecture and craftsmanship. See more pics.
The medina in Meknes is very pleasant, and has plenty to offer. It's rather small, so there isn't the fear of wandering around lost and confused (unlike the labyrinth in Tetouan).
My roommate's cousin took me to an 11th century madrasa and several small museums containing old artwork and artifacts from Meknes. Entry to these places does cost, but not more than 10 dh per person.
It won't take long to see the entire medina, so take your time, practice your bartering skills, enjoy the sights and smells (avoid the meat market areas in this respect.... you certainly won't be enjoying those smells...)
Koubbat as-Sufara was once the reception hall for foeign ambassadors. There is not much to see inside. Admision DH10. (March 2006)
There is shafts that descend into a hugh crypt outside the entrance. It is an enormous vented, underground granary. Free admission.
Heri-es-Souani is the Moroccon or Arabian name of the horste stables which were built by the megalomane Moulay Ismail to stall his 12.000 horses.
There isn't very to much to see but the site is, because of it's largitude, impressive.
A souq is lively, that's right but it's also a place where it can stink enormously.
I wouldn't buy my meat there. Not for anything in the world.
In the back you see my daughter helding her handkerchief before her mouth....
The other daughter, a vegetarian, wouldn't even come in to have a look
One of the specialities of Moroccon cuisine is the sometimes very dry, sometimes very sticky pastries.
You find them anywhere on the streets but especially in the souq where you can chose between hundreds varieties
Ville Nouvelle is the new town of Meknes – also known in Arabic as Hamrya. The bus and train stations are in this area. Also in the new town are modern hotels and café’s as well as one of the city’s main attractions, the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail.
El Hedim square or Place el Hedim connects the Kasbah and the medina. Literally meaning ‘Square of Ruin’s or another version ‘Square of Demolition and Renewal’, it has been laid out on the ruins of the Merinid Kasbah which was razed to the ground by Moulay Ismail in order to build palaces and grounds.
To the side of the square is a covered food market – a must for locals and a highlight for tourists who are definitely targeted by the street sellers. There are also café’s selling kebabs and bbq chicken. You will also find entertainers and snake charmers as well as local physicians handing out medicines.
Bab el-Khemis was build between 1061 and 1147 and is known as the Thursday Gate. The name came about because of its proximity to a nearby camel market which was held on Thursdays. It was also the entrance to the old Mellah or Jewish quarter and gardens.
The main gate was built for Moulay Ismail, is supported by two large bastions and a smaller gat to the side. The surrounds of the entrance are rich in green decoration and Kufic characters. The inscription says “I am the door open to all people, whether West or East”.
Regarded as one of the most beautiful gates in Morocco, the Bab el Mansour is certainly the most important gateway in Meknes, it opens into mechouar where you will find the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail. The gate was named after El-Mansour, the architect and was completed in 1732. El Mansour was a Christian rebel who converted to Islam.
The beautiful Zellij tiles decorate the Almohad influenced gate which is right across from the main square - Place el Hedim. The marble columns of the gate came from the ruins of Volubilis and there is an inscription which celebrates the achievement of Moulay Ismail.
A common gathering spot for locals in the evening and at night is a lake by the city walls. It's worth the excursion if you like to experience local customs and culture first hand. Buy some food at the marche if you wish and head over around dusk. It will no doubt be crowded with people, but the ambiance is quite nice.
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