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UNESCO World Heritage Sites In Morocco

Morocco's cultural heritage sites show its evolution from the Roman Era to the introduction of Islam to European colonial influences to the present day.

Morroco is country situated in the northern part of Africa whose capital city is Rabat. Morocco whose cultural influences are Berber, Arabian and European borders both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. On October 28, 1975, the Kingdom of Morocco accepted the convention making its historical sites such as Fez Medina and many others eligible for inclusion in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites due to site's cultural significance.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites In Morocco

Fez Medina

Fes went through a lot of changes throughout decades as most of its population was made up of refugees. The increase in population contributed to the formation of two cities on either side of the Fes River one built by Idris ibn Abdallah and the other city later built by his son Idris II. However, in the 11th century, the two cities were unified by the Almoravids. The Almoravids were subsequently defeated by the Maridins who built most of the principal monuments in the region and then included mellah as an additional to the urban fabric. Fes el Bali is among the three most famous districts found in Fes. It was ideally established as the capital of the Idrisid dynasty and is the oldest walled part of the region besides its fame for housing the oldest university in the world known as the University of Al-. Fes consists of a population of about 156,000 and is believed to be among the largest car-free area in the world. Historical sites in Fes el Bali include urban fabric and ancient walls together with a buffer zone located outside of the walls whose sole purpose is for the preservation of the location's visual integrity. The two main threats to this world heritage site include continuation of population increase and deterioration of buildings. UNESCO named Fes el Bali the first World Heritage Site in Morocco using the name Medina of Fez in 1981.

Historic City of Meknes

Located in the heart of Morocco and bordering the gorgeous cedar forests, Middle Atlas mountains, the oases of Tafilalt, the two biggest metropolitan regions of Morocco and the mountainous Morocco is Meknes. During the 11th century, Meknes was established by the Almovarids as a military settlement. Later on, the settlement was turned into an awe-inspiring city built in the Spanish-Moorish style. The establishment was surrounded by high walls with great doors which had a blending of the Islamic and European styles. Under the rule of the Wattasid dynasty, a large prison was installed under the large city to accommodate the Christian sailors that were captured on the sea. The Wattasid dynasty constructed a good number of edifices, monumental gates, gardens, mosques and an extensive line of the wall with a length of 25 miles thus earning the nickname "City of a Hundred Minarets." Meknes is the sixth largest city by population with an estimated more than 650,000 of the urban population and close to 1,000,000 of the metropolitan population. Its main economic sectors are agriculture, industry, and services and in 2015 Meknes was classified as one of the three most competitive cities in Adria. One of the biggest threat to this historical site is inadequate drainage systems. UNESCO named Meknes a World Heritage Site in 1996.

Essaouira Medina

Located in the western Morrocan economic region is Essaouira which was originally known as Mogador. Essaouira is a city whose modern name bears the meaning of 'the little rampart' which refers to the fortress walls that surround the city to this date. Ideally, Essaouira was designed and constructed by Thédore Cornut especially the Kasbah area that corresponds to the Royal quarters and the buildings that housed Christian merchants and diplomats. History has it that Essaouira has been occupied since the primeval era and is considered to be one of the best anchorages of the coast of Morocco since it is shielded by a natural bay that moderately covers it from the action of the wave. Essaouira has practiced cabinet making and wood-carving for centuries and also remains to be one of the important fishing harbors in Morocco due to the Canary Current. Essaouira is a region full of culture considering it has several small art galleries all around the town. The two main threats in Essaouira are deterioration of the extensive fortifications around the Medina and a broad range of law violations against motorized vehicles. UNESCO named Essaouira Medina World Heritage Site in 2001.

Magazan (El Jadida) Portuguese City

El Jadida connects with the modern city of Essaouira and the archeological ruins of Mogador from the south whose port city Magazan is located on the Atlantic coast of Morocco. The old city consists of the famous building made in the Portuguese period including the cirsten and the Manueline Church of the Assumption whose walls were made of hewn stone.Architectural designs of many of the other buildings had both European and Moroccan cultural influences integrated with Portuguese construction technology. Some of the landmarks of this Heritage Site include The Portuguese Cistern, The Cannons and the Fortress, The Old Port, The Municipal Theatre of El Jadida and The Old Port. At present Magazan is an industrial town with the presence of ports and factories the main exports are eggs, hides, maize, wool, beans and chickpeas among others. One of the major threats is pollution due to an increase in the activity of the industrial area and the ports nearby. UNESCO named Magazan a World Heritage Site in 2004.

Other UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Morocco

In total Morocco has nine World Heritage Sites all selected due to their cultural significance. The latest inclusion to the list of nine was Rabat, Modern Capital, Historic City and Shared Heritage in 2012. In addition to Morocco's World Heritage inscriptions, it also maintains thirteen properties on its tentative list.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites In Morocco

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Morocco Year of Inscription; Type
Essaouira Medina (formerly Mogador) 2001; Cultural
Fez Medina 1981; Cultural
Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou 1987; Cultural
Marrakesh Medina 1985; Cultural
Mazagan (El Jadida) Portuguese City 2004; Cultural
Meknes Historic City 1996; Cultural
Rabat - Modern Capital, Historic City, and Shared Heritage 2012; Cultural
Tétouan Medina (formerly Titawin) 1997; Cultural
Volubilis Archaeological Site 1997; Cultural

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