The Gate (Bab) of Mansour

 

Meknès, The City of Hundred Minaret 

 

Meknès is one of the four Imperial provinces of Morocco, lies in the northern central region and the sixth-largest city by population in Morroco. Meknès name is derived from Miknasa, an Amazigh tribe and the word Meknès means the head of the tribe. It was founded in the 11th century by Almoravids, a Muslim Berber dynasty.

 

Meknes is fortified with walls spanning 40 kilometers interspersed with a series of towers and doors east of the Old City, surrounded by the foothills of Atlas and Zerhoun Mountains. The City became capital of Morocco and bears a highly valued historical and Touristic monuments constructed under the rule of Sultan Moulay Ismail Ibn Sharif son of the founder of the Alaouite dynasty, back to (1672–1727) the 17th-century. Moulay Ismaïl turned Meknes into an impressive Spanish-Moorish architectural style, surrounded by high walls with great doors, where the Islamic and European styles of the 17th century meet.

 

 

The Gate (Bab) of Mansour
 

Gates and Fortifications of Meknès

 
Meknes most well preserved historical structure attraction is the Bab el-Mansour, one of the most amazing gates in north Africa and even the world, that standing now as an entrance a gallery features art exhibits, A throng of merchants, acrobats and fire-eaters congregate, at dusk, in Place El-Hedime and its big market (overlooking the huge square-El Hedime). It was completed in 1732, five years post-Moulay Ismail's death.
 
The Gate constructing is said to be related to one popular legend tells the tale of Ismail asking Mansour Laleuj, the architect responsible for the impressive city gate if he could have made the gate more beautiful, to be the grand entrance to the Imperial City of Meknes, so he was killed!. This is unlikely, though, as the gate was completed by Ismail’s son, Moulay Abdallah, in 1732 — five years after his father’s death. It's said that Moulay Ismail asked El-Mansur if he could do better structure. El-Mansur worked on the building to get a better result yet the gate was finished after Moulay Ismail's death.
 

 

 
The Gate (Bab) of Mansour

 

The Gate (Bab) of Al Mansour

 

Bab Al Mansour Gate was named after El-Mansour, a Christian renegade who converted to Islam. The 16 meters Gate was designed as a horseshoe-arched gate and its 52-foot-high wooden doors are located off the sprawling el-Hedim square. The architectural element decorated with Arabic calligraphy translates as “I am the most beautiful gate in Morocco. I’m like the moon in the sky. Property and wealth are written on my front.”. The decorative elements featuring Almohad patterns, zellij mosaics of excellent quality, marble columns were taken from the Roman ruins of Volubilis (Walili), the great monument of the Roman civilization. Wondering in Meknès, visit another structure by Moulay Ismail for his army, Hedim Square, the large square located in the heart of the city.


Additionally, The Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail with its panoramic view, architectural elements that give an imperial presentation of the north African art with mosaics surrounded by Quranic, poetic and Arabic calligraphy as a main decorative element over a geometric and floral background. The prison of Qara/Cara also attributed to the reign of Moulay Ismail, executed by a Portuguese architect who built it as a swap for his freedom. Another memorial building for Moulay Ismail, The Dome of Ambassadors, where he used to meet the representatives of the diplomatic missions. The remains of Great water tank - cistern built in Moulay Ismail era, Sahrij Souani, that was affected by the earthquake that hit Meknes in 1755.

 

 

The Gate (Bab) of Mansour
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