Wonders of Morocco
Morocco differs from other countries of Africa and has rather many similarities to Europe. Or rather – it has its own "style" for natural and cultural landmarks.
This North African country is very rich with man made landmarks, but also nature here is rich and diverse. The most impressive wonders of Morocco are:
- Historical cities – medinas. Morocco has some of the most beautiful historical cities in the world. Here are found immense medieval cities (Fes el Bali is one of the largest intact medieval cities in the world), secluded hilltop towns (the "secret" city of Moulay Idriss Zerhoun), blue towns (Chefchaouen) and orange towns (Aït Benhaddou).
- Local architecture. Moroccan architecture is distinct and has left influence on European architecture. Some of most interesting examples are Koutoubia Mosque, Bou Inania Madrasa, Menara Gardens.
- Petroglyphs and megaliths. Morocco is very rich with interesting prehistoric heritage. Here are found megalithic stone rings, standing stones, tumulus and countless sites with prehistoric paintings and etchings. Some of most interesting are Aït Ouaazik petroglyph site and Msoura stone circle.
Map with the described wonders
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Top 25 wonders of Morocco
Impressive natural arches at the Atlantic Ocean. One of arches collapsed in 2016.
110 m tall, visually impressive and interesting waterfall with several cascades. Stream continues into canyon that is almost 600 m deep.
Talassemtane National Park
The only grove of Abies maroccana – beautiful and very rare tree.
Caves of Hercules
Large cave that opens both to the sea and land, a popular tourist destination. Caves have been used for dwelling since the Neolithic times, partly carved artificially to make millstones. According to legends here lived also Hercules. Later, in the 19th century it was used as a brothel.
Ruins of abandoned Phoenician – Carthagian – Roman city that flourished in the 3rd century BC. Local people invaded it in 285 AD, it was inhabited until the 11th century AD. City was prosperous and there have been preserved ruins of many beautiful buildings, including basilica, trimuphal arch. City was protected by walls.
Roman necropolis and settlement that was abandoned only in 1154 AD.
Fortified and very well preserved town at the Atlantic Ocean. Fortifications are built according to the European tradition. The city served as a port of Marrakech.
Large historical mosque, built in 1184 – 1199. Ornate mosque has 77 m tall minaret. This landmark building inspired Moorish architecture over the next centuries.
Medina of Marrakech and Djemaa el Fna (Jemaa el-Fnaa)
Former imperial city, founded in the 11th century. The walled city (19 km of walls preserved) contains numerous valuable structures, here is located also Djemaa el Fna – large and very lively city square, where a unique, local tradition of popular performances has developed.
Historical city, popular tourist destination, famous due to much used light blue color on walls and even streets.
Historical town at Atlantic Ocean, with intact medieval ramparts and buildings. Town was established by Phoenicians in 1500 BC. Restored in the 1970s.
Fes el Bali
The medieval, fortified part of Fes city. City was founded in between 789 and 808 AD. Here is located the oldest university in the world (859 AD), and, it is possible that this is the largest car free urban area in the world.
Historical capital of Morocco, flourished in the 17th – 18th century. Old city has large prison underneath where captured Europeans were held, as well as hundreds of historical buildings. Some of most impressive are Dar El Makhzen palace and Bab Mansour gate. City walls with numerous gates have been preserved.
El Jadida (Mazagan)
Well preserved historical city at the Atlantic Ocean. Controlled by Portuguese in 1502 – 1769, they built also fortification walls and planned the city in Renaissance style. Contains the visually impressive Portuguese Cistern with Gothic columns, built in 1514.
University of al-Karaouine
This madrasa is world’s oldest continuously operating educational institution that was founded in 859 AD. Currently operates as university. Contains enormous mosque with austere design.
Hassan II Mosque
Third largest mosque in world, with highest minaret in world – 210 metres high. Built in 1993. Half of mosque has been built over Atlantic Ocean.
Moulay Idriss Zerhoun
The most sacred city in Morocco. It was founded by the king Moulay Idriss I (great-grandson of the prophet Muhammad) in 789. City has been built on two hills. Hills are densely covered with buildings and look spectacular among the green mountains. Mosque of Mulai Idris was built in 810 AD.
Aït Benhaddou (Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou)
Historical, fortified town, built of orange – brown adobe. This hilltop village provides a striking sight.
Kasbah of the Udayas
Historical quartal – fortress in Rabat. Developed since 1150 AD, partly deserted already in 1199 AD.
Small, ornate building, constructed in 1117 AD. Valuable example of Almoravid architecture, built to provide place for ablutions before prayer. Interior has very rich ornamentation.
Medina of Tétouan
Well preserved Moorish town, founded in the 8th century. Here came many Moorish refugees from Spain, bringing Andalusian influence to local art and architecture. Surrounded by 5 km long wall.
Historical gardens, set in the 12th century. Orchards and historical architecture look great with the Atlas mountains serving as the background.
Bou Inania Madrasa
One of the most beautiful Islamic buildings. This Islamic learning center was founded in 1350 AD and is a very ornate example of Marinid architecture.
Magnificent palace, built in the late 19th century.
Unfinished minaret of the intended largest mosque in the world. Built in 1195 – 1199, reached approximately half of its height – 44 m.
The Rough Guide to Morocco is the indispensable travel guide to this intoxicating country, with comprehensive coverage, clear full-color maps, and up-to-date practical information to help you discover the best Morocco has to offer. Whether hiking through the Atlas Mountains, camel riding over the dunes of the Sahara, or bartering in the souks of Fez, you’ll have all you need to make the most of your Moroccan adventure.
Wander grand imperial cities, bask in the calm desert oases, relax on miles of Mediterranean beaches, and walk among ancient history: Morocco offers an incredible crossroads of culture for travelers of all stripes. Explore it all with Moon Morocco.