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My roundtrip through Morocco
Just down the road from Fez lies the Imperial City of Meknes. Meknes was the capital of Morocco under the reign of Moulay Ismail (1672–1727) He is said to be the father of a total of 867 children including 525 sons and 342 daughters. I couldn't find out with how many women. He really was fruitful and multiplied. I wonder how long it took him to give them all a good night kiss.
This rather unsympathetic person (at least to me) spent his time with building walls and remparts to keep out all ennemies. From what I understood he must have been a very paranoid person, because to arrive into the city you had to drive through four thick remparts with huge doors. Our guide said that the walls were 4 m thick so that it was impossible to get through.
Moulay Ismaïl is also known as a fearsome ruler and used at least 25,000 slaves for the construction of his capital. He personally supervised the building of over 25 km of protective walls for his city within a city. He scavenged materials from monuments all over Morocco, including Roman marble from the ruins at Volubilis. Nobody knows how many slaves died during this period.
The Moulay Ismail's granaries were ingeniously designed. Tiny windows, massive walls and a system of underfloow water channels kept the temperatures cool and air circulating. He didn't store food for humans, but grain and hay to feed his 12.000 horses. The first few vaults have ben restored, but those behond stand in partial ruin, row upon row.
Amongst international filmmakers, Martin Scorsese shot part of the "Last Temptation of Christ"here.
The city wall of Meknes
Old Meknes inside the remparts
Gate to the Imperial stables and granaries
The sign at the entrance
beautiful carved designs in the wooden doors, although they had been abandonned for a very long time.
now in renovation
The ceiling of a storage room
one of the storage rooms
the walls for the storage of hey and food were very thick
in a few years this will have another look
Our guide explained us the use of this wheel
And this street leads through all the walls to the entrance.