Dar Jamaï Museum
Medersa Bou Inania
Opposite the Grande Mosquée, the Medersa Bou Inania is typical of the exquisite interior design that distinguishes Merenid monuments. It...
The focus of Pl el-Hedim is the huge gate of Bab el-Mansour, the grandest of all imperial Moroccan gateways. The gate is well preserved...
Musée de Meknès
Housed in the gracious old Tribunal building, this newly-opened museum features metalwork, farming implements, clothing, jewellery,...
Also going under the name Sweet Sultana, this is a small but charming restaurant in a converted medina house. The tent canopy over the...
Dar Jamaï Museum information
Overlooking Pl el-Hedim is Dar Jamaï, a palace built in 1882 by the powerful Jamaï family, two of whom were viziers to Sultan Moulay al-Hassan I. When the sultan died in 1894, the family fell foul of court politics and lost everything, including the palace, which was passed on to the powerful Al-Glaoui family. In 1912 the French commandeered the palace for a military hospital.
Since 1920 the palace has housed the Administration des Beaux Arts and one of Morocco’s best museums. Exhibits include traditional ceramics, jewellery, rugs and some fantastic textiles and embroidery. Look out for the brocaded saddles, and some exquisite examples of Meknasi needlework (including some extravagant gold and silver kaftans). The koubba (domed sanctuary) upstairs is furnished as a traditional salon complete with luxurious rugs and cushions. The museum also has a fine collection of antique carpets, representing various styles from different regions of Morocco.
The exhibits are well constructed; explanations are in French, Arabic and sometimes English. The museum’s Andalucian garden and courtyard are shady, peaceful spots amid overgrown orange trees.