Get amazed by the natural surroundings ,the beauty of ancient Volubilis, The mosques in Moulay Idriss and the imperial city Meknes.
What to Expect
The drive from Fez to Meknes takes approximately 1 hour. Driving along the road you can enjoy the magnificent view of olive groves, vineyards and the growing of mandarins, oranges, pomegranate grains, and potatoes. We also see a lot of shepherds with herds of sheep and goats.
We pass the barrage of Sidi Chahed. The water from the mountains is collected in this lake for irrigation of the crops. Local handicraftman from Nzalat Bni Ammar offers you a collection of artisanal products as you enjoy the magnificent panoramic view.
Moulay Idriss is a city with 12,000 inhabitants, located at the foot of the Atlas Mountains (27 km from Meknes). Moulay Idriss is a holy city. The city can be seen as the cradle of Islam in Morocco.
Stuck against and on the hills’ this white city with its many mosques is truly beautiful.
For a long time, the city was forbidden for non-Muslims, but even when this was not the case, the myth that non-Muslims were not welcome here was long-standing. In the narrow streets upward, motorized traffic is impossible, and the donkey and the handcar are therefore the ones here. Here you can walk undisturbed and peacefully in a labyrinth of streets, where hardly anything has changed in hundreds of years.
Up the mountain, you are rewarded with a phenomenal view of the city and surrounding area (also the Roman ruins of Volubilis can be seen). In the middle, in the ‘valley’ between the two ‘camels bumps’ is the tomb of the sultan Moulay Idriss, the founder of the city of Fes, with its minaret with green tiles on which Koran verses.
Volubilis (UNESCO world heritage)
Once an important Roman trading city, nowadays the best-preserved ruins of North Africa. Archaeological site Volubilis is historically an interesting part of Morocco. Volubilis is 28 kilometers from the city of Meknes. The ruins are based on a plateau between cereal fields, cacti, and olive groves.
Volubilis included more than 10.000 inhabitants around the second and third century after Christ. It was one of the most important cities on the western side of the Roman Empire. In the surrounding fertile land, the Romans produced cereals and oil.
By the end of the third century, the Romans retreated from Morocco. However, Volubilis remained inhabited. During Roman rule, Roman as well as Amazigh, the original inhabitants of this area, lived in Volubilis.
A specialized professional guide from Volubilis can assist you and explain if you like. The tour takes about 45 minutes. It’s also possible to make the tour without a guide and follow the signs.
Another great construction of Moulay Ismail in Meknes is Hri Souani. It is a complex of three different buildings just to the south of the royal palace. The main structure is the actual granaries which were built to store massive quantities food and water in case Meknes had been under siege.
This amazing site has been used as a scene for many films, the most famous of which is probably The Last Temptation of Christ in 1988 by Martin Scorsese. There are a series of 10 massive rooms with arched ceilings that can reach dimensions of over 25 meters long by 10 meters wide.
The walls were so thick that the food was naturally preserved from the highly variable temperatures of the Meknes region. Another part of the building contains the wells that give the name of “the house of water” (Dar El Ma). These wells were powered by animals to extract water which was stored in the “basin d’Agdal” (Sarij Swani). This series of buildings provided ample stocks for the emperor to feel safe in Meknes.
The Granaries have recently been restored and are now once again entirely open to the public. Entrance is 10dh like most of the monuments here in Meknes.
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