Monday, January 4, 2016

Meknes - Day 4

Old wall surrounding stables
The next day we headed for Meknes, one of Morocco’s former royal cities (capital). Meknes is famous for buildings erected by Sultan Moulay Ismail bin Sharif, the founder of the Alawite dynasty. He built the area into an impressive city in Apanish-Moorish style. 
Large decorated gate of palace 
The palaces and other buildings were surrounded by high walls with great doors, many of which are still standing (or leaning) today. At one time those defensive walls – with 9 monumental gates – held 25 mosques, ten hammams (public baths), a number of palaces, vast graneries, fondouks (inns for merchants) as well as private houses. Many of the building were built to match his image of Versailles.

Ismail’s famous stable housed 12,000 horses under a single roof supported by stone arches. Three long corridors with an incredible number of stalls filled a huge area that sadly caved in during the Portuguese earthquake in the 1700's. An enormous granary adjoining the stable stored grain at controlled temperatures to enable both the horses and the residents to survive a long siege. A wheel inside the granary pulled water from an underground stream. Now…for a side a side note about the man...he holds a world record for virility, having fathered 867 children!

No comments:

Post a Comment