The Berber tribe of the Meknès (hence the name Meknès) first settled here in the 10th century, under Almohads and Merinids. Meknès’ medina was expanded and some of the city’s oldest remaining monuments were built. It wasn’t until the 17th century that Meknès really came into its fame. The founder of the Alawite dynasty, Moulay ar-Rachid, died in 1672. His successor and brother, Moulay Ismail made Meknès his capital, where he reigned for 55 years.
The most famous places to visit:
LAHDIM: In the heart of Meknes (medina), it is the largest square facing Bab el-Mansour, built by Moulay Ismail and originally used for royal announcements and public executions.
DAR JAMAI MUSEUM: Overlooking place et-Lahdim is Dar Jamai palace built in 1882 by the powerful Jamai family, two of ?whom were viziers to Sultan Moulay al-Hassan I.
BAB EL-MANSOUR: The focus of place el-Hadim is the huge gate of el-Mansour. The grandest of all imperial Moroccan gate ways.
MAUSOLEUM of MOULAY ISMAIL: Diagonally opposite the Kobbat as-Sufara. The sultan (king) made Meknès his capital in the 17th century. Moulay Ismail’s stature as one of Morocco’s greatest rulers means that non-Muslim visitors are welcomed into the sanctuary (although they may not approach the tomb itself).
AGDAL BASIN: Fed by a complex system of irrigation channels some 25km long, it served as both a reservoir of the sultan's and pleasure lake.