With that, we're back inland. Meknes (pronounced "mek-ness") is a fun city that's full of history, sights, and attraction. A couple of fun facts: it was the capital of Morocco in the 1600s/1700s, and its sister city is Nîmes, France! Also, Meknes itself is a UNESCO Heritage Site.
Between Casablanca and Meknes, the ONCF train costs about 90 dh and the ride lasts just under three hours.
Riad Zahraa is a charming hotel right in the medina. The location couldn't be better, and the price is $25/night/person if there are just two of you (and it gets cheaper, the more people that are on the trip, down to $16/night/person). Plus, the amenities are endless: included breakfast, on-site restaurant, air conditioning (!!), Internet access, laundry facilities, and more! And look how pretty it is!
Remember the Médersa Ben Youssef in Marrakech? Meknes has a similar attraction, which is the Bou Inania Médersa. This school was founded in the 1300s (!!), and it's full of Islamic architecture. Only 10 dh to enter.
Before telling you about the Mausoleum of Mouley Ismaïl, it's time for a small history lesson. Mouley Ismaïl Ibn Sharif was the king, or malek, of Morocco from 1672-1727, and he was known for his fearlessness as well as his implementation of public works and architecture that were inspired by Louis XIV. Mouley Ismaïl died in Meknes, and here lays his tomb. While it is free to enter, leaving a tip is highly encouraged.
|The king himself.|
|Fountain at the mausoleum.|
Sahrij Swani is a manmade basin that was created in preparation of possible drought. For just 10 dh you can walk around the basin and take in the view--sunset visit, anyone?
|A wall borders one side of the basin.|
Vocabulary (French // Arabic // English)
- un roi // malek (مَلِك) // king