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An Ancient Park on the Edge of the City
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985 the Menara gardens were created in the mid 12th century by the Almohad Dynasty. Since then they've been added to and embellished by varying degrees for other Sultans, but always centred around a huge, flat reflecting pool, which captures the Atlas Mountains in the most sensational way on a clear day, forming the focus of a space that covers 100 hectares. An elegant pavilion was added during Saadian rule in the 18th century and it was always a popular summer escape from the heat among city dignitaries. Unlike the other more formal gardens of the city, Menara’s vast olive groves, orange orchards and cypresses feels like a more natural space and somewhere you can truly escape the fray. Although extremely popular with picnicking Moroccan families in the afternoons it's blessedly free of tourists, and a lovely peaceful place for a stroll.