We had just one morning in Meknes and since it was a tour it was a fairly structured morning. Our first stop was at a high point in city for a city panoramic view. (I unfortunately had my camera settings wrong and my beautiful panoramic pictures are all blue.) Then we whizzed back down to the city and started our walking tour. (Side note: Doing a walking tour? At the end of February? I would recommend having a hat.)
We visited the old Royal stables and granaries, both of which I found pretty amazing. The stables were built to accommodate 20,000 horses! Can you believe that? I thought I had misheard at first, but it was correct. The picture above shows one of the long rows within the stables, and originally it would have had a roof. 20,000 horses would have been pretty hot and stinky. It’s hard to imagine now, with only the graceful arches remaining.
I was also super impressed with the granaries, the design and architecture produced truly amazing structures. The walls are extremely thick and the ceilings are vaulted to help keep things cool. But the real kicker is that they had huge water cisterns underneath and they circulated the water creating even more of a cooling effect. Apparently they could keep grain for years without spoiling. Amazing…so low tech but so effective. Labour intensive to build and maintain, but effective.
We toured around on foot a bit more. Visited a Mausoleum, I think. My ticket of entry is in multiple languages but all I can make out was that it was a historic monument. I recall our tour guide being very good, but I obviously didn’t retain enough, which I suppose defeats the whole point of having a historic guided tour. Oh well. The mosaic tiling was beautiful though.
And that was Meknes. I don’t really think a morning is enough to see a city, although the parts we did see were very interesting.