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 Major Cities in Morocco

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مُساهمةموضوع: Major Cities in Morocco   الإثنين يونيو 08, 2009 5:07 am

Morocco covers an area of 447,000 sq. km., and is located in North Africa. Its capital is Rabat and the largest city in Morocco is Casablanca. Here is a description of some of the major cities in Morocco.

Marrakech
Marrakech or Marrakesh is not only a fabulous place to visit, but also a symbol of ancient Morocco. For centuries, Marrakech has been known for its popular 'seven saints'. The festival of the 'seven saints' was founded by Abu Ali al-Hassan al-Yusi, during the reign of Moulay Ismail. The tombs of several renowned figures were moved to Marrakech, in order to attract pilgrims and visitors, and the 'seven saints' became a firmly established institution, attracting people from all corners of the world. The seven saints include Abdelaziz al-Tebaa, Sidi Bel Abbas, Sidi Abu al-Qasim, Sidi Muhammad al-Jazuli, Al-Suhayli, Cadi Ayyad ben Moussa and Abdallah al-Ghazwani. Djemaa el Fna, which is one of the busiest squares in Africa and the world, always bustles with acrobats, story-tellers, water sellers, dancers and musicians. The Menara gardens is considered to be the most romantic place in the city. Other places of tourist interest are the valley of the Ourika River in the Atlas Mountains, the valley of the Draa River in the south near the Sahara desert, the waterfalls of Beni Mellal, and Essaouira on the Atlantic ocean.

Agadir
The well maintained beaches, palm-lined boulevards and the beach-front bars make Agadir one of the most sought after cities of tourist attraction. Visitors can ride a camel, rent a beach buggy, or check out the Suq al-Had market, which is filled with the spices of North Africa. On February 29, 1960, Agadir was almost totally destroyed by an earthquake, which lasted for 15 seconds. Almost 15,000 people died in this earthquake and the reconstruction began in 1961, two kilometers south of the earthquake epicenter. Agadir is a completely modern city, permanently filled with tourists, especially German tourists. It has many luxury hotels, beautiful golf courses and there is some form of night-life. Agadir also presents a useful transport hub and an easy points of access, in case someone comes to the country by plane. Places of tourist attractions include the old walled city of Taroudannt, Paradise valley, the Massa Lagoon and Agadir’s Museum of Berber Art.

Casablanca
The original settlers of the area of Casablanca were the Berbers, who are said to arrived in the 7th century. Much later in 1906, Casablanca was established as a town with a population of 20,000. Also known as Casa or Dar el Baida, Casablanca very much resembles a Southern European city. That's the reason why most of the European travelers feel immediately at home here. Casablanca is Morocco's largest city, its chief port and the sixth biggest city in the entire continent of Africa. It is considered to be the economic capital of Morocco because of its extensive influence on Moroccan business. Casablanca is the primary naval base for the Royal Moroccan Navy and was an important strategic port during World War II. It was also the venue of the Casablanca Conference in 1943, in which Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt discussed the progress of the war. Other industries include fishing, fish canning, furniture making, glass, textiles, electronics, leather work, spirits, soft drinks and cigarettes.

Rabat
Rabat's history dates back to the third century B.C., with the settlement of Chellah colonies. It was later ruled by the Romans, and in 1146, the Almohad ruler Abd al-Mu'min turned Rabat's ribat (ribat meaning stronghold) into a full scale fortress, in order to use it as a launching point for attacks on Spain. Rabat, alongwith its sister city Sale, has a population of about one million people and provides a good first base to start exploring the city of Morocco. Visitors can tour the Royal Palace, walk the narrow streets of the Casbah des Oudaya, visit the 12th-century Tour Hassan, Bouknadel and Chellah, which has interesting museums of 17th-century fortress and Roman ruins. There are many other places of tourist interest like Archaeological Museum, Bou Regreg Dam, Consules Street, Hassan II Avenue, Museum of Moroccan Arts and Oudaias Kasbah. Sale, with its Grand Mosque, city gates, markets, small back streets and harbor filled with fishing boats is also a tourist's delight.

Morocco is a country with a rich culture and civilization. It has always been successful in combining its Berber, Jewish and Arabic cultural heritage, with external influences such as the French and the Spanish, to form a perfect blend of cultural diversity.

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