Interesting Facts About The Kingdom of Morocco

Ancient Sites

 

World Heritage Sites are sites in certain countries that have been deemed by UNESCO to be of outstanding cultural or natural importance. This value is universal and so preserving such sites is seen as being beneficial to the entire world’s population. Most of the cultural heritage sites are historical in nature and provide evidence of the way early cultures lived their day-to-day lives. These sites provide a wealth of information and form part of a world of history that would remain dead and buried were it not for the discovery and study of such amazing archaeological ruins. There are as many as eight designated World Heritage Sites in Morocco.


Volubilis:
These ancient Roman ruins were originally part of the Mauritanian capital that was established in the area in 3 BC. In its prime Volubilis graced with many stunning buildings and although today all that remains are some ruins, the remaining structures and intricate mosaics have been preserved as a reminder of a city that once thrived.


Meknes:
Founded in the 11th century as a military settlement, this great city developed into a place of great beauty, filled with superb examples of Spanish-Moorish styled architecture, much of which is still present today. Parts of the city, such as the enormous doors of the city, were constructed from materials looted from Volubilis.


Ait Ben Haddou:
Lying along the ancient caravan route between the Sahara Desert and the city of Marrakech, this amazing group of earthen buildings is a striking example of the ancient and practical architecture used in the southern parts of Morocco. Situated in the Quarzazate province, the buildings are surrounded by high, defensive walls which are reinforced by corner towers. This uniquely beautiful site has been used in a number of movies, including The Jewel of the Nile, The Living Daylights, Gladiator and Alexander.


 Essaouira:
This once humble fishing village developed into a strategically significant seaport which was used by pirates in the 1500s. Within the city’s fortified walls, the Medina of Essaouira has been preserved and many buildings remain much the same as when they were constructed back in the 18th century.


Fes:
With a history that goes right back to the 9th century, the Medina of Fez is Morocco’s cultural and spiritual centre. The Medina consists of numerous beautifully preserved historical buildings, including mosques, palaces, residential home and squares with fountains, all set in a labyrinth of narrow streets and alleyways which are fascinating to explore.


Marrakech:
The Medina of Marrakech was established in the 11th century with successive occupants leaving their mark on the fascinating architecture of the city. The Almoravids built some of the most impressive structures in the Medina, including the Kasbah, a number of magnificent mosques and an open-air theatre which still stands today. The tombs of several prominent figures are located in the Medina of Marrakech and attract visitors from all over the world.

Morocco Fun Facts

  

Kingdom of Morocco

Country Facts


King: Mohammed VI

Population: 2014 - 33 Million

Currency: Moroccan Dirham, DH (MAD)

Morocco Country Code: 212

Location: North Africa

Official Language: Arabic,Tamazight (Berber), On July 1st, 2011 Tamazight was recognized as an official language of Morocco.

Languages: Arabic, Tamazight (Berber), and French

Government Type: Constitutional Monarchy

Capital: Rabat

Voltage: 110/220V

Area: 710,850 / 274,460 sq mi 

Largest Moroccan City: Casablanca

Morocco Independence: March 2, 1956 from France. April 7, 1956 from Spain
 

   Fun Facts about Morocco

  • Morocco was one of the first countries to recognize The      United States of America’s independence, in 1777. 
  • Morocco is about      the same size as the state of California.
  • Morocco is only      8 miles (13 km) from Europe, across the Strait of Gibraltar.
  • Morocco has been inhabited by Berbers for at      least the last 5000 years.
  • The most popular drink in Morocco is      Moroccan green tea with mint. Also known as “Berber Whisky” 
  • The most popular dish is Moroccan Couscous with      vegetables and meat. In Morocco, it is considered impolite to handle food      with the left hand and to say no to meat if it is offered at a meal
  • The university of Al-Karaouine in Fes, founded in      859 AD, is considered by the Guinness book to be the oldest      university in the world.
  • The movie "Casablanca" was not filmed in      Casablanca. Casablanca, named after      the Moroccan city, starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, won the      Academy Award for Best Motion Picture in 1942 and is considered one of the      best films of all time 
  • There are two Spanish cities inside of Morocco on      the Mediterranean coast, Ceuta and Melilla.
  • Morocco is the largest importer of green tea worldwide      (from China).
  • The King's wife's title is Princess Not Queen.
  • The tomb of John      the Baptist is said to reside in the shrine of Sidi Yahia ben Younes,      situated in the Moroccan city of Oujda
  • In the old times, it was unlawful to sell a date tree,      as it was a source of food for the whole family.
  • Argan trees, a source of argan oil used in cosmetics and for      consumption as well, only grow in Essaouira region of Morocco and some      part of southern Morocco. There have been attempts to plant them in other      countries with no success making Argan a unique Moroccan product. 
  • The Atlas film      studios, 4 miles (6 km) outside of Ouarzazate, are known as Morocco’s      Hollywood. For a century, hundreds of films have been shot in this region,      including Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator, Bertolucci’s The      Sheltering Sky, and Scorsese’s Kundun, among others
  • Estéban de Dorantes born in Azemmour, Morocco around      the year 1503 was a Moorish slave and the first African to      set foot in America. 
  • "Sex and the city" sequel were filmed in      Morocco after the United Arab Emirates backed out as the original      pick. 
  • UNESCO has selected 10,000 square-mile of Argan growing region as a      biosphere reserve.
  • Morocco has no oil or gas of its own, and it is among      the world's top wheat importers.
  • White is the      color of mourning in Morocco. A Moroccan widow wears white for 40 days      after the death of her husband.
  • Morocco is the largest      processor and exporter of sardines in the world
  • The English word      “genie” comes directly from the Arabic word djinn, denoting a      spiritual being that may play some part in human affairs if called upon.      In Morocco, djinns are believed to frequent places associated with      water: public baths, drains, sinks, and even pots and pans. 

The Sahara Desert of Morocco

    

The Sahara is the world's largest desert. Only a small part of the Sahara is fertile and it is here that corn, dates and other fruits grow. These parts are fed by underground rivers and oases. The Sahara can be an inspirational experience at night, with the air being crisp, clean and clear and the stars being so close you can almost touch them.

The Sahara desert stretches across much of North Africa covering over 9,000,000 square kilometers (roughly the size of the United States). In fact, the Sahara covers some 30% of the entire African continent. It is the hottest place in the world with summer temperatures that often exceeds 57 Celsius. It has an annual rainfall of 0 - 25 millimeters and is very windy with windstorms sweeping the sand up to heights of 1000 meters and moving the sand dunes constantly.

The Sahara consists of one quarter volcanic mountains, one quarter sand, rocks and gravel-covered plains and small areas of vast permanent vegetation. The vegetation includes shrubs, grasses, and trees in the highland and in the oases along the river beds. Some of the plants are well adjusted to the climate since they sprout within three days of rain and sow their seeds within two weeks after that.

Animals in the Sahara are mainly Gerbils, Cape Hare, Deer, Weasels, Baboons, Jackals, Sand Foxes, Mongooses, Desert Hedgehogs and over 300 bird species.