"Meknes" Morocco Things to Do Tip by grets

Morocco Things to Do: 725 reviews and 1,654 photos


When Moulay Ismail beame Sultan of Morocco in 1672, he moved his capital to Meknes, from where he ruled the country for 55 years.

Moulay Ismail's excesses were notorious. 500 women served him and of the many hundred children he fathered, he had the girls strangled at birth and was known to slice off the limbs of any son who did not behave!

He built a 25km long wall around the city as part of his grand plan. 30,000 Sudanese soldiers were gathered together as a 'peace-keeping force' - roaming the country to ensure the sultan's control was felt.

Back in Meknes, 25,000 slaves were employed to construct palaces, walls and fortresses. When the salves died they were used as building material for the walls, their blood mixed in with the cement.

In total there were 30 royal palaces, 20 gates, mosques, barracks and ornamental gardens. Meknes remained one of the four great Imperial Cities until his son took over the reign in 1727 and destroyed a number of buildings.

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  • Written May 30, 2005
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