Like its southern counterpart across the valley, the fortress of Borj Nord, perched on the hillside overlooking Bab Boujeloud, was built in the late sixteenth century by the Saadians to control the Fassis rather than to defend them. Carefully maintained, the borj now houses the country’s arms museum (daily except Tues 8.30am–noon & 2.30–6.30pm; 10dh; t 0535 645241), full off daggers encrusted with stones and an interminable display of row upon row of muskets, most of them confiscated from the Riffians in the 1958 rebellion. The pride of place is a cannon 5m long and weighing twelve tonnes, said to be used during the Battle of the Three Kings. The main reason for coming up here, though, is for the commanding views across the Medina: a spectacular sweep of daily life that, together with the views from the Merenid tombs (a 500m walk round the hillside, along Avenue des Merenides), constitute the best panorama of the city.

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