The Kingdom of Morocco is a sovereign nation in North Africa. Since the foundation of the first Moroccan state in 788 AD, the country has been ruled by many dynasties with the Alaouite dynasty, the current ruling dynasty, gaining power in 1631. The cities, palaces, forts, mosques, and other buildings built by these various dynasties are distributed throughout the country. Many of them are regarded as architectural marvels. Morocco was also the cultural hub of the medieval Islamic world and Islamic scholars from different parts of the Arab world would gather here to discuss religion and science. The country is associated with a rich history and culture that make it a unique place worthy of a visit. Here are some of the most interesting facts related to Morocco:
10. Africa’s Highest Ski Resort Is In Morocco
Located about 80 km from Marrakesh in Morocco, Oukaïmeden is a ski resort, the highest of its kind in Africa. It is located in the Atlas Mountains at an altitude of between 8,500 ft and 10,500 ft. The ski resort has six ski lifts and other facilities to help skiers to enjoy the experience of skiing.
9. Morocco Hosts The World’s Oldest Continually Operating University
The University of Al Quaraouiyine is located in the city of Fez in Morocco. It was established in 859 by Fatima al-Fihri, the educated daughter of a wealthy merchant. For a long period of time, the university served as the leading educational and spiritual hub of the Arab Muslim world. Many renowned Arabic scholars taught at this university. Today, the university is part of the country’s state university system. Islamic legal and religious studies are the main focus of this university.
8. Ibn Battuta Was From Morocco
The famous Islamic scholar and explorer Ibn Battuta was from Morocco. He lived in the 14th century and traveled to many parts of the world including North Africa, the Horn of Africa, South, Central and Southeast Asia, the Middle East. He kept accounts of all his journeys which act as historical treasures today and reveal a lot about medieval civilization.
7. Morocco Was Founded By A Relative Of Prophet Muhammad
Idris I founded the Idrisid dynasty that prepared the base for the establishment of Morocco as an independent state in the future. Idris I was Prophet Muhammad’s great-great-great grandson. In 786, Idris I took refuge in Morocco after escaping from the battlefield of the Battle of Fakhkh.
6. The Oldest Human Sculpture Was Discovered In Morocco
The Venus of Tan-Tan is a 6 cm long human-shaped piece of quartzite rock that was discovered in 1999 on the Draa River’s north bank in Morocco during an archeological expedition. Studies have revealed that the artifact dates back to the Middle Acheulean period that is about 300,000 to 500,000 years ago. According to a section of archaeologists, however, the piece of rock has attained the shape of a human as a result of natural weathering and erosion.
5. Morocco Has A Valley Dedicated To Roses
The M’Goun Valley in Morocco is also known as the Vallée des Roses. Every year, 3000 to 4000 tons of wild roses are produced by the valley. These roses are important for the local economy. Local women pluck the roses and sell them to co-operatives located in the region. Most of these roses are used by French perfume companies and the rest are used to produce rose water, soaps, and other beauty products by local companies.
4. Africa’s Busiest City-Square Is Located In Morocco
Located in the medina quarter of the Moroccan city of Marrakesh, Jemaa el-Fnaa is Africa’s busiest square. Both locals and tourists visit this square in great numbers. The square offers a close glimpse into the cultural life of Moroccans. Chleuh dancing-boys, story-tellers, magicians, traditional medicine sellers, and snake charmers provide entertainment at the square. Food stalls selling local food are set up in the square towards the evening. The Marrakesh souk, a traditional market selling objects catering to both the needs of locals and tourists, is located at the edge of the Jemaa el-Fnaa. Gardens, cafes, and hotels are located around the square.
3. It Is Possible To Journey From The Sea To The Mountains And Into The Desert In Morocco
Morocco is not only about historical and cultural treasures but it also has many natural wonders. The landscape of the country varies widely and includes coastlines on the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, the lofty peaks of the snow-clad Atlas mountains, and wide expanses of the Sahara desert.
2. Morocco Has Nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites!
Morocco is one of the biggest hubs of tourism in North Africa. The political stability of the nation has fuelled the growth of tourism in the country. The government of the nation is also keen to further promote tourism in Morocco. The country has nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Each of these sites has exceptional historical, cultural, and architectural value that make them worthy of a visit.
1. Morocco Is Home To The Red City
Marrakesh is Morocco’s fourth largest city. Marrakesh has a rich history, architecture, and culture. It was one of the country’s most important imperial cities. Ali ibn Yusuf, a king of the Almoravid dynasty built red walls to guard the city. Many red buildings were also built within the city. The color gives the city its nickname of "Red City" or "Ochre City".