Meknes and Marrakech are two historic Moroccan cities that share varied facets of historical past and structure.
Meknes is likely one of the most exceptional and attention-grabbing cities within the nation. Situated north-central Morocco on the highland of Saiss, Meknes is a strategic place for the navy and agriculture.
The town of Meknes was established within the 11th century (1061 A.D.) by the Al-Moravids. At first, it was constructed as a navy base, however when Moulay Ismail, the founding father of the Alawite dynasty, began his reign, he selected Meknes to be his capital, from 1671 to 1727. The town of Meknes is also called the Ismaili capital.
Meknes structure. Picture: stratageme2015/Pixabay
Marrakech was thought of for a protracted interval — and nonetheless is, to an extent — a political, financial, and cultural middle in Morocco. Situated within the middle of the nation, Marrakech was discovered within the 11th century by the Al-Moravids.
All through historical past, Marrakech had had an incredible impression on the western facet of the Islamic world and had been a resilient capital for various Al-Mohads sultans of Morocco.
Bahia Palace, Marrakech. Picture: Abdelhamid Azoui/UnsplashMarrakech structure. Picture: Adri Ramdeane/Unsplash
Numerous historians have a tendency to focus on the similarities there are between the 2 historic Moroccan cities of Meknes and Marrakech, comparable to their comparable architectural kinds and historic monuments.
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Al-Hadim and Jemaa Al-Fnaa
The primary resemblance one would be aware of is the 2 cities’ main squares: Al-Hadim in Meknes and Jemaa Al-Fnaa in Marrakech.
All through historical past, the squares have been a melting pot of cultures and a vacation spot for vacationers and vacationers in addition to retailers and locals.
Al Hadim, Meknes. Picture: Paul Barker Hemings/FlickrJemaa Al-Fnaa, Marrakech. Picture: Miltiadis Fragkidis/Unsplash
The squares are thought of to be gateways to the slender streets of the traditional medinas (previous cities). The squares represent the beating hearts of the 2 cities, the place all people gathers for commerce, information, and leisure. They embody tradition, individuals, folklore, meals, music, and traditions.
Probably the most well-known important components of Al-Hadim and Jemaa Al-Fnaa is al-halqa, a type of leisure. The inventive phenomenon echoes and melts individuals’s backgrounds and social courses.
Al-halqa is taken into account to be the idea on which the Moroccan theater was established. Throughout an al-halqa efficiency, a wonderer may watch drama and comedy, study historical past and myths, and perceive the society’s proverbs and idioms. They’d seize a handful of a colourful and distinguished tradition.
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Swani and Menara basins
Although the 2 basins had been constructed in numerous eras — the Swani basin within the late 17th century and the Menara basin within the mid-12 century — and for various functions, the 2 monuments present the cities of Meknes and Marrakech with one other monumental similarity. Guests of those two “lakes” definitely really feel the identical breeze and freshness.
Meknes’ Swani basin, situated inside Al-Qasbah, close to the royal palace, was Moulay Ismail’s resolution for any water disaster, both navy or pure, which will threaten his capital metropolis.
The very first thing one would discover is the Swani basin’s measurement. It’s 148.75 meters by 319 meters with a depth of three.20 meters. The basin was constructed to cowl any provide of water wanted for the palace, mosques, public baths, properties, and gardens.
The basin is now a vacation spot for foreigners in addition to locals. It’s a place of amusement and refreshment, particularly in the summertime.
Marrakech’s Menara basin, alternatively, is situated on the middle of the Menara backyard, a backyard that features 1,006 olive bushes. Menara basin’s measurement is much like that of Swani basin. It’s 200 meters by 160 meters with a depth of two.50 meters.
Menara basin, Marrakech. Picture: DEZALB/Pixabay
It was established to coach troopers on swimming and naval fight strategies earlier than they headed for Andalusia and the shores of Morocco.
In 1870, the basin grew to become the property of Sultan Mohammed IV and a vacation spot for him to relaxation, calm down, and flee the warmth of Marrakech.
Menara was then reworked from a royal backyard devoted to recreation, to a spot the place tons of of households go to flee to from the boiling warmth of the pink metropolis.
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Music and dance
Each Meknes and Marrakech are identified for folklore music.
Anybody who visits Meknes and excursions Al-Hadim sq. would hear Aissawi music, and if they’re fortunate sufficient, they may attend an al-halqa that celebrates this style of native music.
The identical would apply for a customer to Jemaa Al-Fnaa sq.; nonetheless, the music would differ. Marrakech is understood for its Tqitiqat music and its well-known Dekka Marrakshia.
Meknes is the origin of Aissawi music, a non secular Sufi type of music based by Al-Hadi Ben Aissa, Sheikh Al-Kamel.
Aissawi music is an important factor of the Meknassi (that means “from Meknes”) id It’s carried out by way of spiritual and non secular poetry, primarily praising the identify of Allah and the Prophet Muhammed.
The songs are at all times carried out with a particular dance that entails males standing in circles, shoulder to shoulder, transferring in a rhythmic sample that harmonizes the singing and the devices. One main instrument moreover the drums is the Ghaita, a protracted and heavy oboe. Aissawi music is at all times current within the metropolis’s weddings and celebrations.
Tqitiqat is a Marrakshi (that means “from Marrakech”) musical type carried out by males and can’t be full besides when accompanied by a particular dance known as Dekka Marrakshia.
Individuals in Marrakech specific themselves with this musical type when celebrating spiritual or nationwide holidays and occasions, in addition to weddings and different social events.
The dance is usually carried out by 20 males, seven amongst them are aged. The seven elders symbolize the seven pious males of Marrakech.
The dance entails varied musical devices, beginning with a relaxed rhythm solely to turn into vivid by the top. Tqitiqat celebrates all that represents Allah, the Prophet Muhammed, and his teachings. The dance has three levels of efficiency, and after each stage, the rhythm accelerates and the subject adjustments.
This journey by way of the monuments and music of Meknes and Marrakech ought to encourage your subsequent journey to Morocco.