The great Almohad sultan, Moulay Ismail made Meknes his imperial capital and it is there that he is entombed. Although his mausoleum lies stone’s throw from Place El-Hedim and Bab al-Mansour, it’s not easy to find because it’s not marked. You will have to ask for help.
When you enter in the mausoleum, you step inside a small entry room, painted buttercup yellow with a small fountain marking the center of the room. The entry room leads to the first of several interconnected open aired courtyards, each of which is also painted buttercup yellow. Surrounded in all directions by bright yellow walls, it’s hard to believe you’re actually in a mausoleum.
The last courtyard fronts the tomb room and unless you’re a Muslim, you cannot enter. But not to be disappointed, the ante room will simply take your breath away. It soars up several stories high with a row of windows at the top that lets the sunlight filter in. Intricately carved plaster and delicately patterned zellij tiles adorn the walls. In the center of the floor is a small fountain collared by the eight pointed star that is classic to Moroccan design. There is perfect symmetry in all the design elements. It’s just a magnificent space!