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 with lavish (if faded) zellij and inscriptions across the top. It was completed by Moulay Ismail’s son, Moulay Abdallah, in 1732. You can’t walk through the bab itself (although it’s sometimes open to host exhibitions), but instead have to make do with a side gate to the left.
The two white columns either side of the bab are Corinthian marble, plundered from a Marrakesh palace. They were acquired by Moulay Ismail during his lifetime but only added to the bab by Monlay Abdallah after his father's death. Along the top of the gate, the Arabic inscription extols Bab el-Mansour's virtues with a confidence befitting of the king. It reads: 'I am the most beautiful gate in Morocco. I'm like the moon in the sky. Property and wealth are written on my front.'