By Amine Mechaal
By Amine Mechaal
Meknes – The Dar Jamai is one of the most popular historical sites in the city of Meknés. Built in the nineteenth century by Mohammed Ben Al-arbi L’jamaai, the first minister of Hassan I (1873-1894), this highly appreciated historical monument is located in the old medina of Méknés.
Sekakine was originally meant to be the palace of Sidi Mohammed L’jamaai. However, the latter faced a serious disease which urged him to move to Fez for medical treatment, where he gave his orders to build another mansion under the same name. As a result, Dar L’jamaai remained unoccupied for a while until Lhaj Lmaati L’jamaai, brother of Mohammed Ben Al-Arbi L’jamaai, used it after his brother’s death.
In 1912, the building was sold by its last owner to the French colonials, who divided it into two buildings. The first building became a military hospital under the name “Louis Hospital,” and the second part became a military court for a short period before it was turned into an art facility.
In 1916, the building was used as an administrative facility and a museum of art. In 1920, Dar L’jamaai was declared an official museum, the “Civil Arts Museum” and a school for embroidery.
After independence in 1956, the school was secluded from the building, which has become what we know today as “Dar Jamai Museum.”
In addition to the charming gardens, the incredible fountains, and the stunning designs, the museum also contains many historical items that belong to Sultan Moulay Ismail, who ruled Morocco from 1792 to 1822, including a cooking kit, traditional sauna, clothes, beds, furniture, jewels, a mosque, and musical instruments.
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