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Historic City of Meknes
Site number:
Type of site: Cultural
Date: 11th century
Date of Inscription: 1996
Location: Africa, Morocco, region centre sud, Wilaya de Mekne
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Description: Meknes was founded by the Almoravids in the 11th century as a military settlement; under Sultan Moulay Ismaïl (1672–1727), the founder of the Alawite dynasty, it became a capital. The site was turned by the sultan into an impressive, stylistically Spanish-Moorish, city, enclosed by high walls with grand doors. The 17th-century Maghreb harmoniously merged Islamic and European styles - still apparent today. --WHMNet paraphrase from the description at WHC Site, where additional information is available.
  Meknes (Arabic: مكناس) is a city in northern Morocco, located 130 kilometres from the capital Rabat and 60 kilometres from Fes. It is served by the A2 expressway between those two cities. Meknes was the capital of Morocco under the reign of Moulay Ismail (1672 – 1727), before it was relocated to Rabat. The population is 536,322 (2004 census). It is the capital of the Meknes-Tafilalet region. Meknes is named after a Berber tribe which was known as Miknasa in the medieval Arabic sources. The land upon which the city is founded and much of its surrounding territory came under the domination of the Roman Empire in 117 A.D. (see History of Morocco). The original community from which Meknes can be traced was an 8th century Kasbah, or fortress. A Berber tribe called the Miknasa settled there in the 10th century, and a town consequently grew around the fortress. Meknes saw its golden age as the imperial capital of Moulay Ismail following his accession to the Sultanate of Morocco. --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
Reference: 1. UNESCO World Heritage Center, Site Page.
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