Located between the fertile plain of the Rarb and the Middle Atlas, Meknès and Volubilis lie at the heart of an agricultural area that has been Morocco’s grain store since ancient times. 

The historical importance of the two cities can be clearly seen in the ruins of Volubilis, capital of Mauretania Tingitana and the most important archaeological site in Morocco, as well as in the grandeur of the Moorish buildings in Meknès. From the time of its foundation in the 10th century to the arrival of the Alaouites in the 17th century, Meknès was just a small town overshadowed by Fès, its neighbour and rival. It was not until Moulay Ismaïl’s reign, which began in 1672, that Meknès first rose to the rank of imperial city, and the sultan ordered the building of gates, ramparts, mosques and palaces worthy of such an honour.

This ambitious building programme continued throughout his reign and involved robbing the ruins of Volubilis and the Palais el-Badi in Marrakech. Today, Meknès is one of the largest cities in Morocco, with a population approaching a million It is a dynamic economic centre, renowned for its fresh produce, olives, wine and mint tea. 

The gram imperial city stands alongside the new town, on the banks of Wadi Boufekrane. the old Imperial city of Meknes (known as the “Moroccan Versailles”) with its grand gateway – Bab el-Mansour, main square – Place el-Hedim, Tomb of Sultan Moulay Ismail and the Dar Jamai Museum where you can view its breathtaking architecture and cultural treasures Want to discover Meknes? There are a thousand and one ways to do so. A calm, flourishing and modern city nowadays, Meknes is one of the most notable cities in the kingdom that can share the most fascinating stories of Morocco with you. 

It was an impressive Hispano-Moorish style city surrounded by high walls pierced by monumental gates which today shows the harmonious alliance of Islamic and European styles in the Maghreb of the 17th century city of a hundred minarets