The North African country of Morocco boasts stunning natural beauty and a rich heritage. Apart from its rich natural bounty of rugged mountains, vast deserts, and picturesque coastline and beaches, the country is also famed for numerous remnants of ancient history. UNESCO has designated nine such places in Morocco as World Heritage Sites. Read on to explore some of the treasures of Morocco’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Portuguese City of Mazagan
The ancient Portuguese City of Mazagan is one of the well-preserved historical sites to be designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This is the first Portuguese settlement in Morocco and reflects a unique combination of European, Portuguese, and Moroccan architectural styles. Explore its huge citadel, ramparts, and bastions as well as the cistern and the ancient Catholic Church of the Assumption. The region has now been renamed as El Jahida.
Medina of Marrakesh
Visit the Medina of Marrakesh to marvel at another ancient World Heritage Site. The 11th century Medina of Marrakesh has been enriched by different rulers of different eras. Explore its Kasbah, numerous mosques, open-air theatre, and several tombs of important figures. Some of the most popular monuments in the area are Koutoubia Mosque, Saadian Tombs, El Badi Palace, and the Ben Youssef Medersa.
Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou
The Ksar of Ait-Ben Haddou is a picturesque housing compound with high earthen walls reinforced by corner towers set against a mountain. It is located in the Quarzazate province and is considered to be a perfect example of sub-Saharan architecture in Morocco. The site has been used as a backdrop in several Hollywood movies.
Medina of Fez
Another of Morocco’s Medina that has made its way to the list of World Heritage Sites. The 9th century medina still holds a high spiritual importance in the country. There are numerous attractions to be explored, including historical monuments, mosques, palaces, residential homes, and squares with fountains. Its narrow streets and alleys lend an old world charm to the place.
Historic City Of Meknes
The historical city of Meknes is an 11th century military settlement, which reflects Spanish-Moorish architectural styles and offers scenic views of the surroundings. Explore the city and its 25 mosques, 10 hammams, and several splendid palaces and granaries.
Archaeological Site of Volubilis
Visit the archaeological site of Volubilis, an often overlooked tourist attraction, to explore the ruins of ancient Roman empire. Volubilis was built as a Mauritanian capital and an important post of the ancient Roman Empire. Today, it boasts of the ruins of some such stunning buildings and intricate mosaics.
Medina of Tetouan
The Medina of Tetouan is an 8th century historical town marked by quaint streets housing places of local crafts such as leatherwork, weaving, and jewellery-making. It is a stunning city in the agricultural region of Tangier-Tetouan and is said to be one of the most complete Medinas in Morocco. Tetouan boasts of a huge historic wall, seven gates, charming open spaces, and public buildings such as funduqs, mosques, and zawayas.