City of Morocco with 550,000 inhabitants (2005 estimate), situated in northern Morocco, in the interior, west of the Middle Atlas. The economic base for Meknes are fruits, vegetables, palm-oil pressing, metalworking, distilling, carpets, wool-products and cement. Meknes enjoys relative wealth, and is one of Morocco's fastest growing cities. Meknes has a the old sultan's palace, dating back to the times when Meknes was Morocco's capital. The palace is often called the Versailles of Morocco, due to its large extent. HISTORY of meknes: 10th century CE: A Berber tribe called Maknassis settles here. 11th century: The Almohads establishes a citadel, called Meknes, here. 1675: Sultan Moulay Ismail makes Meknes his capital. During his 55 years of reign, the palace is erected. 1728: End to Meknes' position as capital. 1755: An earthquake destroys large parts of Meknes. 1912: The French make it their military headquarters. 1956: With Morocco's independence, Meknes becomes part of the new kingdom.