Morocco is one of the richest countries in the world. Thanks to its diversity, both natural and cultural, Morocco is a wonderland that keeps astonishing people. The country attracts a huge number of tourists each year just for the fact that no region is like the other in Morocco; each part of Morocco has its distinct characteristics that distinguishes it from the others. Morocco is also a country that has a rich history; there’s even archeological data that confirms the fact that Morocco has the oldest traces of humanity. There are many other interesting facts about Morocco; some might leave you wondering why you didn’t know this before. That’s why this article is dedicated to share with our dear readers many interesting facts about Morocco.
Historical facts, facts about Moroccan geography, cultural fact, fun facts and more are going to be explored in the paragraphs below.
History facts about Morocco
Morocco has the oldest trace of humanity.
The oldest trace of mankind, which was ever found, belongs in Morocco. The most ancient fossil of Homo sapiens, which was found in Morocco dates back 300,000 years ago. This fact makes Morocco have the oldest root of humanity.
Morocco was a savanna
In the prehistoric era, Morocco was home to many hunter gatherer societies, who occupied the savanna fields; that used to be covering the lands of this region.
Tangier is the oldest Moroccan city
Archeological data suggests that Tangier was the first city to be established in Morocco; this happened during the 8th century BCE. The Phoenicians were the first civilization to inhabit Morocco.
The Berbers and Romans used to rule Morocco
Morocco was ruled by the Berbers and Romans starting from the 3rd century BCE. The Capital of Rome in Morocco was Volubilis, which is a city that you can visit in Morocco nowadays. Although, it’s only ruins, some of them are in good shape.
Morocco was Jewish and Christian
Judaism was a long established religion in Morocco, and during the 2nd to the 4th centuries AD most of the Roman territories were converted to Christianity. However, the Berbers always remained hard to convince when it comes to religion, especially when there are political reasons backing up their lack of belief in Christianity.
The first king of the Islamic era was a direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammed
The Sultan Moulay Idriss, who united the Berber tribes and ruled them during the 7th century, was a descendant of the Prophet Mohammed. He fled his home after he was threatened by war. It’s believed that he established, for the first time the Moroccan kingdom. His capital was Fez.
Morocco was ruled by 7 dynasties
The Moroccan kingdom has been ruled, throughout history by seven dynasties. Four of them were Berber. The Al Moravids, who were a strong Berber dynasty, established the city of Marrakech, which is one of the main cities that tourists visit.
Morocco has the second oldest dynasty that is still ruling today
The Alaouite dynasty, which is the current royal family in Morocco, is three and half centuries old, making it the second oldest dynasty in the world after the royal family of Japan. The Alaouit dynasty has started its reign since 1666 AD, up until nowadays, with the current king being the 23rd of this dunasty.
Morocco has captured the eyes of Europe, throughout history
Spain, France and Portugal have all tried to seize Morocco to expand their power over Africa. Morocco has won and lost many wars with Europeans.
Morocco was colonized
France and Spain were eager to colonize Morocco; they succeeded during the first half of the 20th century. Most of the regions were under the French and Spanish protectorate, although, they were faced by a fierce resistance from many Berber tribes all over the country.
Morocco was the first country ever to recognize the USA
Back in 1777 Morocco was the first country ever to recognize The United States of America as an independent country.
Geography facts about Morocco
Morocco has a good geographical spot
Morocco is situated on the farthest northwestern edge of Africa; less than 16 kilometers of sea separate Morocco from Europe. It’s a country that has a diverse land; there are high mountains, a desert, and beautiful coasts.
Morocco has two mountain ranges
Morocco is characterized by its two mountain ranges; these are the Atlas Mountains and the Rif Mountains. These mountain areas are mainly inhabited by Berbers, who rely upon agriculture as a main source of income.
Morocco has the highest peak in North Africa and the Arab World
Mount Toubkal, which is situated near Marrakech, is the highest peak in North Africa and the Arab World. It’s also very fun to climb, due to its not very challenging landscapes. It can be climbed in period of 2 to 3 days, making it one of the best excursions in the area near Marrakech.
A huge proportion of Morocco is a desert
Morocco is country that has a big share of the Great Sahara Desert. As you can see in any map of Morocco, the southeastern part of Morocco is mainly a desert. The desert isn’t as inhabited as the other parts of Morocco; most people live in the west and the north. The desert is inhabited by nomads who use camels to travel through the desert.
Agadir is one of the best cities to visit
Agadir is one of the sunniest cities in Morocco and the world, and with its fascinating beaches and hotels, it’s truly one of the best spots that a tourist who love sunbathing, surfing, and spending time at the beach can go to.
The Rif Mountains are the first exporter of Hashish in Europe
80 percent of the hashish that is consumed in Europe is believed to come from the Rif Mountains. This region has been famous for this type of agriculture since long ago; it built a reputation of having a fine quality.
Culture facts about Morocco
Morocco is a country that has a very diverse culture
Throughout history Moroccan culture has been shaped by many influences, namely, the Berber, the Roman, the Sub Saharan, the Arab and recently European and American. You can notice the manifestations of all these cultures in the everyday life of Moroccans.
There are also nomads in Morocco, which is something that adds to the cultural diversity of Morocco.
Morocco is predominantly a Muslim country
Recent statistics show that more 90 percent of the population claims to be Muslim.
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Moroccans speak multiple languages
The official languages of Morocco are Arabic, Berber and French. Most of the Moroccans a can speak at least two languages, Berber and Darija (Moroccan Arabic) being the two mainly used dialects. French is taught in Morocco since primary school, which makes an average Moroccan able to keep up with a conversation in French. Other languages like English, Spanish and German are also taught to Moroccan students. A young Moroccan millennial can even master up to 4 languages, especially if he lives in the city.
Morocco has a unique style of architecture
Moroccan architecture is a mixture of different influences; all combined to give Morocco a unique style. These influences come from Roman, Andalusian, Portuguese, Berber, Muslim and Modern European styles.
Moroccan cuisine is one of the best cuisines in the world
Moroccan cuisine is influenced by many outside recipes from all over the Arab world and Europe; it’s very diverse and rich. Moroccan meals are usually very nutritious, for example, the Tajine contains at least three or four different types of vegetables, meat, spices and other additions. Moroccans consume a lot of olive oil, which is a very smart healthcare strategy.
The most famous beverage in Morocco
Moroccans consume a lot of mint tea; some even call it Berber whiskey. As soon as a Moroccan receives a guest or invites one, the first thing to serve is tea. Mint tea is one of the most crucial elements in any Moroccan ceremony.
Morocco has one of the richest music scenes in the world
Each Moroccan region is distinct from the other when it comes to music. The differences are very extreme sometimes, with completely unique musical instruments. One of the most important genres of Music is Gnawa; there’s a yearly festival dedicated to this music scene held in Essaouira.
More than 10 percent of Moroccans live outside their country
A huge number of Moroccans live in foreign countries; it’s very usual in Morocco that you find at least one family member who lives in Europe or elsewhere.
Moroccan old women have tattoos
Many Moroccan old ladies have tattoos on their faces and hands or feet; these tattoos were used to distinguish the women of a tribe from the others. These traditional tattoos are a crucial element in many Berber cultures.
The official dress in Morocco is Djellaba
Both men and women wear Djellabas in Morocco. However, there are differences in terms of the style and the when to wear one. Women’s Djellabas are decorated and have bright colours sometimes (depending on the choice of the lady of course). In celebrations, one the one hand, men either wear a Djellaba or a Jabadour. On the other hand, women don’t wear Djellaba, instead they put on a Kaftan or Tekchita.
man with djellaba
women with caftan
Moroccans celebrate three new years
Moroccans celebrate the New Year three times, first with the Muslim calendar, then the Gregorian and the Amazigh.
Moroccans eat Couscous every Friday
Moroccans celebrate the holy day of Islam, which is Friday by eating Couscous with the family or friends.
Moroccan public baths are very relaxing
Part of Moroccan culture is to go to the Hammam, which is a public bath every week for relaxation. The Hammams have very hot rooms, where you can have a massage.
Fun facts about Morocco
Morocco has one of the largest film studios
The studios of Ourzazate are the second largest studios in the world. You can recognize these filming sites from Game of Thrones and movies like Gladiator, Lawrence of Arabia, and Kingdom of Heaven… The desert vibe and the old Kasbahs have attracted the attention of film directors, who are interested in making historic movies or fantasy movies.
Argan can only be found in Morocco
Argan oil is one of the most effective oils that could be applied for cosmetic purposes. This oil, which is found in every shelf of cosmetics, can only be exported from Morocco; Argan trees only grow near the region of Agadir.
Fez has the most active medieval city
In the entire world, the most active medieval city is Fez el Bali, which is the old Medina of Fez. This place receives more visitors than any other medieval place.
Morocco is recognized by the UNESCO several times
There are eight world heritage sites in Morocco; the UNESCO recognizes how much these spots like Ait ben Haddou, Volubilis, and the old Medina of Fez mean to the world.
Morocco has the oldest university in the world
Al-Karaouine University, established by Fatima el Fihria is the oldest university in the world. It dates back to the 7th century. This university is still functioning today; they teach Islamic studies and theology in it.
There are more cell phones in Morocco than there are Moroccans
The population of Morocco is nearly 33 million, however, that’s not the case when it comes to cell phones; there are 44 million functioning cell phones, which means that many people use at least two phones.
Morocco is compared to California
Morocco is slightly bigger than California; however, there many common things like beaches, mountains and valleys that make both Morocco and California similar.
Morocco has a long history with wine production
During the period of the Roman Empire, Morocco was one of the places that they used to produce wine, thanks to its fertile lands. The wine production stopped in the period of Islamic reign, only to start again when the French colonized Morocco. Now Morocco is recognized as one of the best wine exporters.
Morocco has a rich biodiversity
Morocco is also home to many interesting species of animals. The bio diversity of Morocco also comes from its diverse geography. There are monkeys, for example, that live in the cedar forests. There are also foxes and many species of reptiles and birds in the desert, as well as many other creatures that distinguish each region.
We hope you enjoyed our list of facts about Morocco. If you need to learn more about this amazing country please feel free to contact us. We are very pleased to help.
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