Imperial Cities

There can be only a few people who have not heard of Marrakech the magnet for travelers, Morocco’s second-largest city with a population of 1.400.000 although walking arround the city it would not seem so.Marrakech or ” Alhmraa ” was founded in 1062 by Sultan Youssef Ben Tachafin.Its one of the most artistic and cultural centre in the Islamic world.Marrakech offers a lot of to the visitors at least 2 full days are recommended in this fabulous city, its famous square of Jamaa el Fna which is one the best to be seen and its mixture of restaurants stands along with snake charmers, fire blowers, loud live music and endless Souk.
Marrakech Jamaa el fna Square

Rabat has been the capital of Morocco only since the days of the French protectorate with the arrival of Almohads in the 12th Rabat started to get some size and more importance.Rabat is a very interesting escaping point of all other Imperial cities.The great walls enclose a largely modern city but there remain several quarters to remind you of Rabat’s rich past while you are in Rabat you will see plenty of wonderful thing starting from the ancient palace and old medina inside castle walls facing the Atlantic coast and the beautiful palace of Mohammed 5th Mausoleum and the Old Kasbah of Oudais and its Gardens.

Hassan Tower Rabat

Fes is Morocco’s oldest Imperial city and the cultural centre of the country.It was founded shortly when the Arabs swept across north Africa and Spain.Fes was born and grew from a modest Berber town considerably residential and commercial centre with the arrival of 8000 Al-Andalusian families that quickly mixed along with some Arab families that came from Qayrawan in Tunisia.The Sultan Idriss II continued his father’s will of building a new bigger capital.Like other destinations Fes has a lot of to offer; Royal palaces, its narrow streets, you can visit the ancient leader dye pit, tanneries and lost in the richness of the old Medina.

A Gate of Fes Medina

With a population of 2,9 million Casablanca is by far Morocco’s largest city and industrial centre.This port city was deep in decline until the French decided to remodel it with wide boulevards and public parks in addition to imposing Moresque (Moorish) civic buildings. Casa’s medina or ancient quarter and third largest Mosque in the world the one of hassan II are the main sights that the city offers.

Hassan ll Mosque Casablanca
Meknes and Volubilis

About 1 hour road west of Fes located an other Imperial city of Morocco called Meknes its thousand-years old destination.The first settled here were the Berber tribe in the 10th century but was only around the 17th century that Meknes start gaining some more respect as an Imperial city when the Alawite dynasty here established the country’s capital under the power of Moulay Ismail. In 1755 Lisbon’s huge earthquake gave Meknes a strong shake and many of its monuments were for ever lost.

Same 30Kms from Meknes is the site of the largest and best preserved Roman ruins in Morocco, the UNESCO heritage of Volubilis was setteld by traders arround the 3rd century and stands for one of the Roman Empire’s most remote outposts.Quickly the Roman Empire gained its deserved fame for the 20.000 habitant’s commercial outpost.Volubilis was neglected around 280AD but its population of Greeks, Berbers, and Syrians continued to speak Latin even after the arrival of Islam. Volubilis was inhabited until the end of the 18th century when the catastrophic earthquake of Lisbon (Portugal) destroyed the town and its marble was taken for Palaces building in Meknes.
Roman Ruins at Volubilis




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