Morocco lies in the northwestern Africa

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Morocco (Al-Maghribi al-Mamlaka) lies in the northwestern Africa. Bordered on the west by the Atlantic, the Mediterranean to the north, east and south with Algeria to Western Sahara and Algeria.

The north is the Rif mountains, which separates the coastal plain of the interior. Plateaus that stretch along the shores of the Atlantic give way to the east to the Atlas Mountains, which is divided into three main areas: the Middle Atlas, High Atlas and Anti Atlas. The area is located in the High Atlas Mount Toubkal, which is 4165 meters the highest point in the country.

To the south, is the Saharan plateau.

General Information:
Area: 446,550 square kilometers.
Population: 30,645,305 (as of July 2001 census).
Ethnic composition: 99.1% of Moroccan origin is Arabic.
Language: The official language is Arabic. The French and to a lesser extent the Spanish are the languages used in business and diplomacy.
Religion: Morocco is a confessional state where Islam is the official religion. However, there is also a Christian minority (1.1%) and Jewish (0.2%).

History:
Inhabited since the Palaeolithic, Morocco had Phoenician colonies in the Mediterranean shores. Then took place the Carthaginians. In the fourth century a. C. became part of the kingdom of Mauritania. The Romans needed more than two centuries to defeat the Berber kingdoms of the region until the year 42 d. C. Rome finally won, becoming a province of the Empire.

In 684, came the Arab invasion, which ended in the eighth century, having overcome various uprisings of the indigenous Berber kingdoms that were independent of short duration. Early in the eleventh century from the Sahara, the Almoravids were proposed and the conquest of Morocco Marrakesh was founded, the imperial capital. A century later, the Almohads, originally a Berber tribe of the High Atlas, put the entire country and conquered Al Andalus. The fall in Marrakesh in 1269 ended the Almohad dynasty, one of the brightest in the history of Morocco.

During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the Moroccan reigned, dynasty that gave peace and prosperity to the country to contain the pressure Turkey. This lineage descends the dynasty that currently holds power.  In the eighteenth century the European powers colonized the country. Spanish and French armies crossed into Morocco. The first took over gradually from the northwestern fringe of 1859-60 after the war. After the Conference of Algeciras (1906) did France recognize its influence in the region and one years after his troops landed at Casablanca. The invasion ended in 1912, when the sultan agreed to sign a protectorate treaty. Spain administered the Rif in the north and the territories of Ifni and Tarfaya in the south. France occupied the country.

The resilience of the Moroccan people forced France to proclaim independence in 1956. The same year, Spain returned the Rif, and in 1958 gave the northern part of the Spanish Sahara. When King Mohammed V died in 1961 was succeeded by his son Hassan II, who in 1975 annexed the Western Sahara, causing the reaction of the Polisario Front, which advocates the independence of the territory with regard to Morocco.

Cuisine:
It is one of the most varied and particular to the Arabic world. The couscous is the national dish. It is a stew of vegetables, legumes, raisins and chicken, cow or lamb, seasoned with cinnamon and flour that is steamed. As popular as “couscous” is the mechui, whole oven roasted lamb that is eaten with your hands. The Harira, a thick soup consisting of twenty ingredients between pulses, vegetables, lamb or beef and spices, but it takes all year, is a traditional dish of the dinner of Ramadan. Never missing a tajine dish, lamb, beef or fish, baked in clay pot with vegetables, legumes, almonds and plums, spiced with cinnamon and saffron. Moorish skewers or skewers, made with chicken or lamb roasted on embers and seasoned with spices. The pastry is very varied and is based on the sweet pastry. The horns of gazelle pastries are stuffed with almond paste, shaped like a crescent.

The mint tea is the national drink in a country where alcohol is prohibited. Usually taken very sweet and prepare you men. Also, are good natural orange juice.

Shopping:
Any stock available in a souk which sells a wide variety of products. Objects of leather or leather (jackets, babuchas, handbags, wallets, “puf” gazelle skin, etc..) Are the most abundant can buy chillies, bathrobes, rugs and carpets or “Kilim”, teapots and trays Copper, silver jewelry, pottery, wooden crafts (painted chests, cedar Rif, chess games, and small objects inlaid in mahogany, walnut, olive and lemon, prepared in Tetuan and Fez), fossils and minerals. Bargaining is inevitable. To reach a good agreement with the seller is the best offer, at most, half the price asked for it and negotiate from that amount. Bargaining is an art and practice must be taken above all patience and skill, and not show much interest in the subject. In this case, language is the least of. Vendors are responsible for understand, and you speak in Castilian, Catalan, Basque or as necessary.

Morocco has a lot to see and well, despite only 14 km from the sea, separated from nearby Spain, a country little known by the Spaniards. It is highly recommended to visit this country that unites so many historical, cultural and social Spaniards.

And learn to walk the streets and shops, it is best to engage the services of an official guide, many of whom speak perfect Spanish and prevent harassment of the hustler.

The classic tour includes visits to the Medina souks to the various monuments and mosques, madrasas and palaces. That have been keeping from 809 years of its foundation.

Similarly, the tanneries of the district, despite its unpleasant odor, is a must. Contemplate this unusual motion with tanners mired inside the tub, it’s an extraordinary spectacle, and the best place to view the roofs are adjacent. To support the strong smell of leather, some are placed under a sprig of Yerbabuena nose.

Walking through the neighborhood of the Andalusians, the mosque of the same name, Qarauiyn visit the mosque, take a mint tea from a terrace, watch the sunset from the walls, buy some souvenirs at the souk and enjoy a good food specialties Moroccans, are among the many things you can do in Fez.

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