Rabat – The long-awaited Secrets of History [Secrets de l’Histoire] episode on Sultan Moulay Ismaïl was broadcast yesterday, July 20 on France 2, in celebration and reflection on the founder of modern Morocco.
Titled “Moulay Ismaïl: The Sun King of the Thousand and One Nights”, the episode explored the main events that marked the reign of the Sultan during the 18th century.
The episode gave the floor to Moroccan and French historians, archaeologists, and conservatives to share their expertise on 18th century Morocco.
Secrets of History recalled that Sultan Moulay Ismail, the founder of modern Morocco, sat on the throne at the age of 27 after the death of his two brothers, Moulay Mohammed and Moulay Rachid. His reign lasted for 55 years, during which he named Meknès the capital of the kingdom in 1672.
Show presenter Stephan Bern reminded that Moulay Ismail had unified the kingdom of Morocco and had established important diplomatic ties with foreign countries, particularly France, with whom he signed a friendship treaty in Saint-Germain-en-Laye in 1682.
The documentary also focused on the relations between Sultan Moulay Ismail and Louis XIV, adding that thanks to the powerful army he built was able to hold the Ottoman power away from invading Morocco and drive Europeans out of many of the ports where they had settled. The sovereign also managed to control the notorious Salé’s pirate fleets.
Aside from introducing the life of Moulay Ismail to French and international viewers, Secrets of History also visited some of the architectural sites built by Sultan Moulay Ismail, including the Palace El Mansour, a building that dates from the end of his reign until today.
Bern also recounted the history of the creation of the royal guard and its evolution under the reign of Sultan Moulay Ismail, as well as the role it currently plays.