Sultan Ismail adopted Meknes as his northern capital when he rejected Fes due to perceived sleights by its citizens.
He ordered a vast amount of building work in Meknes, largely carried out by slaves.
By the end of his reign of more than fifty years he had overseen the erection of forty kilometres of walls surrounding two Kasbahs, with numerous ornamental gates, several palaces with extensive gardens and a grand mosque.
Many of Ismail's walls and buildings are being restored today.
The gateways are being refitted with Zellij tiles and rediscovering their former highly decorated glory.
He had a vast water reservoir created along with a massive grain store to ensure he could withstand a siege of several years. (The granary is visible at the far end of the reservoir).
Rain being in short supply during the summer, profligate use of it denoted wealth and power, and no doubt the reservoir supplied the overflowing fountains in the courtyards of the mosques for the faithful to wash before entering for prayer, and in his gardens.
And finally he had his grand mausoleum built, complete with fountains, decorated with highly prized Zellij tiles and sporting two grandfather clocks - presumably in case he should wake up and wonder what time it is.