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Cosa vedere a Meknès: la più piccola delle città imperiali

Meknès dista da Marrakech 450 km ed è nota anche come la Versailles marocchina.

Dopo colazione partiamo da Marrakech, attraversando la regione settentrionale, sfiorando Casablanca e il suo mare, arrivando a Meknès a fine mattinata. E’ stata una citta imperiale e capitale ismaeliana, famosa per i suoi 40 km di mura, la porta mbab mansour, il palazzo reale con le sue splendide scuderie, il bacino Agdal e la medina.

Meknes - Babelmansour2

Partiamo la visita della città dall’incantevole e ampia piazza centrale della città: Place el-Hedim, il cuore pulsante della medina. È un ampia piazza aperta, frequentata soprattutto da gente locale, e già solo passeggiare qui è un esperienza. Oggi è una splendida giornata e vale la pena soffermarsi per bere un the da una terrazza, assaggiare dei dolci al miele o le ottime olive (dicono le migliori del Marocco!)

Meknes - Placeelhedim


Nella parte sudorientale della piazza el-Hedim vicino alla residenza del sultano, svetta la magnifica porta fulcro del complesso della Città imperiale: Bab el-Mansour.

È un incredibile porta d’accesso, la più maestosa di tutte le porte imperiali del Marocco. Edificata nel 1732 per il sultano Moulay Ismail, il quale decise di installare a Meknes la capitale del proprio regno. La porta fu progettata da un cristiano convertito al Islam (Mansour = rinnegato) e presenta bellissime iscrizioni e incantevoli colonne di marmo, provenienti da un importantissimo sito archeologico situato a una decina di chilometri da Meknes, ossia l’area dell’antica città di Volubilis.

Meknes - Babelmansour


Ci addentriamo nella medina di Meknes che è in assoluto il quartiere antico e storico della città.

Risale all’XI secolo come cittadella fortificata e nel corso dei secoli fu circondata da alte e affascinanti mura protettive, assumendo l’aspetto attuale.

Meknes - medina1

All’interno della Medina è stupendo perdersi nei vicoli, guardare la gente lavorare e contrattare. Fotografare come il sole dona colori e sfumature differenti in base alle prospettive. Assaporare i gusti e i profumi che escono da queste antiche botteghe.

Meknes - medina

Volutamente scoviamo la splendida e piccola Madrasa: Medersa Bou Inania, ossia la scuola coranica di Meknes.

La raffinatissima scuola coranica è stata consacrata nel 1350 da Abu Inan Faris. Un tripudio di soffitti in legno, pareti decorate con finissimi mosaici e porte decorate con elaborate iscrizioni ornamentali.

Meknes - Madrasa2


Saliamo fino al tetto dove il panorama è stupendo: il minareto verde acceso svetta su centinaia di tetti malconci.

Meknes - tetti


Sul lato della piazza opposto alla porta, si entra nella Mellah: il quartiere ebraico. Ma ci limitiamo a girovagare tra le numerose bancarelle che vendono la qualsiasi.

Meknes - mercato

Si costeggia il palazzo imperiale, attivo ancor‘oggi e si arriva ad una gigantesca costruzione, Heri es-Souani

La struttura ospitava i granai reali, seminterrati e con mura spesse per mantenere la temperatura fresca e costante. Ancor oggi, anche se fuori è caldo e afoso, qui dentro c’è quasi bisogno della felpa.

Meknes - Heriessouani1

Accanto ai granai si trovano le scuderie reali, un posto meraviglioso, un sistema di archi posti su 23 navate, il tetto è crollato nei secoli e il sole entrando fa risplendere di un ocra acceso le numerose colonne.

Meknes - Heriessouani

Tornando alla macchina costeggiamo il bacino Agdal, subito nelle vicinanze del palazzo reale. Non è altro che un lago artificiale che dona però un senso di modernità, di pulizia e di pace alla zona.

Meknes - agdal

Meknes spesso non rientra nei tour del Marocco in quanto più piccola e meno turistica delle più famose città imperiali come Marrakech o Fes. E questo è davvero un peccato in quanto è una cittadina ricca di architetture che ne ricordano il passato imperiale, con un’atmosfera autentica e a misura d’uomo.

Ora è il momento di riprendere il viaggio alla volta di Fès!


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