Meknes (Arabic مكناس, Miknās DMG ) is a city with 596 108 inhabitants ( calculated 2010) in northern Morocco at the foot of the Middle Atlas mountains, capital of the Meknes -Tafilalet region. Your name is derived from the Berber tribe of the Miknasa who originally populated the place.
The city lies 552 meters above sea level in a fertile plain between the Zerhoun massif in the north and the Middle Atlas in the south, 60 km west of Fez. Through the middle of the city runs the Oued Bou Fekrane.
Under Moulay Ismail Alawidensultan (1672-1727) was Meknes became the capital and greatly expanded. After his death, the capital was moved back to Fes, however. Together with Fes, Marrakech and Rabat, Meknes is one of the imperial cities of Morocco.
Meknes is known by several folk Islamic brotherhoods ( Sufi brotherhoods ), to which the Isawiya ( ʿ Isawiya ) is one that goes back to the city's patron saint, Sidi Muhammad ibn ʿ the Holy Īsā ( 1465-1523 ). Other Sufi sects with unusual rituals are the Hamadscha ( Ḥamadša ), in their beliefs, the spirits Aisha Qandisha plays a central role Dschilala ( Jilala, Ǧilāla ) milyana and the Gnawa. At the national Sufi orders include Tiǧānīya and Darqāwīya of ad - Darqāwī.
The area around the provincial town is the center of the fruit and vegetable cultivation. The city is divided into two halves, the Medina in the west and the resulting under French rule Ville nouvelle in the east. As a natural border Wadi Bou Sekrane serves. In the town of carpets, woolen fabrics and cement are produced and the National School of Agriculture here has its headquarters on the Place el Hedim, the vast square in front of the famous Bab Mansour, a covered food market is structured. Its location in one of the most productive agricultural areas of Morocco makes the city an important transshipment point for agriculture, trade and crafts.
The Souks of Meknes are among the most beautiful and pristine in the country. The most important building of the Medina ( old town ) is the Medersa Bou Inania from the time of Marinids (14th century). Tourism to the palaces that were built over decades from about 1680 Christian slaves from all over Europe and 1755 destroyed by an earthquake, and to the nearby Roman ruins of Volubilis and Moulay Idris the pilgrimage of great importance.
Glorious is the grave of Moulay Ismail, which was restored by Mohammed V.. The white sarcophagus flank, remarkably, two baroque grandfather clocks, which seem strange in the oriental style. They were a gift of the French " Sun King " Louis XIV of Moulay Ismail.
The old town was incorporated in 1996 by the UNESCO list of world cultural heritage. In February 2010, fell after days of rainfall a minaret and part of the roof of Bab- Berdieyenne Mosque, built by Sultan Moulay Ismail of clay.
In the west, outside the old city lies at the entrance of a large cemetery, the revered mausoleum ( Qubba ) of the Sidi Mohammed ben Aissa, the founder of the national Islamic Aissaoua Brotherhood.