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Morocco UNESCO world heritage sites

There are 8 Morocco UNESCO world heritage sites; which you can visit during your trip to Morocco. We are happy to help arrange a guided tour to any combination of the sites below; and many are included in our suggested tour itineraries:

Morocco UNESCO world heritage sites and Imperial cities are the best Morocco UNESCO world heritage sites

Medina of Fez (1981)

Morocco UNESCO world heritage sites
Fes Imperial City

The old Medina of Fez is a great walled city with madrasas, fondouks; mosques and palaces dating from Marinid rule in the 13th–14th centuries. During that period, Fes replaced Marrakech as the capital of Morocco. The most important monuments in the medina are: Bou Inania Madrasa (1351-1356), Al-Attarine Madrasa (1323-1325); University of Al-Karaouine (859), Zaouia Moulay Idriss II (shrine) and Dar al-Magana; a clock-house which holds a weight powered water clock (1357) .

Medina of Marrakech (1985)

Morocco UNESCO world heritage sites
Marrakech Imperial City

The Medina of Marrakech is an old islamic capital originating from the 11th century. It is enclosed by 16km of ramparts and gates. That is to say, the city owes its original splendor to the Almoravide and Almohade dynasties (11th – 13th centuries); who made Marrakech into their capital. The Medina has several architectural and artistic masterpieces from different periods in history; the ramparts and gates (in pinkish clay, like most of the original structures), the Koutoubia mosque (its 77m high minaret; is also a key monument of Islamic architecture), the Saadian tombs, Djemaa El-Fna square and Ben Youssef Madrasa.

Morocco UNESCO world heritage sites

Ait-Ben-Haddou Kasbah & Village (1987)

Morocco UNESCO world heritage sites
Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah Village

Ait Ben-Haddou Kasbah is one of the oldest Morocco UNESCO world heritage sites; a communal housing compound, typical of a type of construction that is traditional to Morocco. The buildings lie in a strategic position against a mountain. They have angle towers and surrounded by steep defensive walls. The Ksar (village) consists of larger and smaller private houses; but also communal areas like a market place and a mosque. All are made from moulded earth and clay brick. The walls and towers often ornamented with decorative motifs. The age of the site is unknown. The town has been protected by the Moroccan authorities since 1953. 

Historic City of Meknes (1996)

Morocco UNESCO world heritage sites
Meknes Imperial City

The historic city of Meknes was the capital city for the Alaouite dynasty (17th century). Its Sultan Moulay Ismaïl redesigned the city in Hispano-Moorish style. Also Meknes city is enclosed by 25 km long walls that are pierced by monumental gates like the Bab Mansour. Over 80 monuments are enlisted, including mosques, medresas, hammams and fondouks.  

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Archaeological Site of Volubilis (1997)

Morocco UNESCO world heritage sites
Volubilis Roman Ruins

The archaeological site of Volubilis encompasses the remains of a Roman city that was capital of Mauritania Tingitana. It is one of the best Morocco UNESCO world heritage sites. It is notable for its high number of mosaic floors. Also, marble and bronze statues have been found. The site settled already in the 3rd century BC; before it annexed by the Romans in about 40 AD. It has a favourable location, due to fertile grounds, for the cultivation of olives.  At its peak, the city probably had 20.000 inhabitants. Most of its large monuments such as the triumphal arch and capitol date from the 2nd and 3rd century AD.  In 2008, the buffer zone of this WHS extended to include the surrounding plain; and mountains and the pilgrimage town of Moulay Idriss. The saint Idriss I had made Volubilis his home before founding Fez and Moulay Idriss.

Morocco UNESCO world heritage sites

Medina of Tetouan ( known as Titawin) (1997)

Morocco UNESCO world heritage sites
Tetouan Medina

The medina of Tetouan rebuilt by the end of the 15th century; by refugees from the Reconquista (reconquest of Spain, completed by the fall of Granada in 1492); when the Andalusian Moors first reared the walls and then filled the enclosure with houses. The city situated in the area of Morocco which formerly ruled by Spain. It had a reputation for piracy at various times in its history.

Tetouan has also been home of an important Sephardi Jewish community; which immigrated from Spain after the Reconquista and the Spanish Inquisition. The Jews lived in a mellah. Many of the houses belonging to aristocratic families; also descendants of those expelled from Al-Andalus by the Spanish “Reconquista”; possess marble fountains and have groves planted with orange trees. Within the houses the ceilings are often exquisitely carved and painted in hispano-moresque designs; such as are found in the Alhambra of Granada; and the tile-work for which Tetouan is known may be seen on floors, pillars and dados.

Morocco UNESCO world heritage sites

Medina of Essaouira Mogador (2001)

Morocco UNESCO world heritage sites
Essaouira Mogador

The Medina of Essaouira (formerly “Mogador”) is an example of a late 18th century fortified town; as transferred to North Africa. Sultan  Sidi Mohamed ben Abdellah decided to build a port that would open Morocco up to the outside world; and assist in developing commercial relations with Europe. Also he hired a French architect (Nicholas Théodore Cornut) who profoundly influenced by the work of Vauban at Saint-Malo. The designated area includes: bastion and forts, kasbah, Mellah, Jewish quarter, several mosques and synagogues; 18th century Portuguese church and private houses.

Morocco UNESCO world heritage sites

Portuguese City of Mazagan (El Jadida) (2004)

Morocco UNESCO world heritage sites
Mazagan El Jadida

The Portuguese city of Mazagan (El Jadida) is a port city on the atlantic coast; which seized in 1502 and subsequently ruled by the Portuguese until 1769. So it was add as one of Morocco UNESCO world heritage sites late in 2004. It acknowledged for its interchange of influences between European and Moroccan cultures. The Portuguese built a citadel here in 1514, and enlarged it into a fortification in 1541. They also constructed 4 churches within the fortification. Remaining buildings from the Portuguese period are the cistern, and the Manueline Church of the Assumption. After the departure of the Portuguese, the city remained uninhabited until the mid-19th century.

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