Morocco covers an area of 447,000 square kilometers, and is located in northern Africa. Its capital is Rabat and the largest city is Casablanca. Here is a description of some of the major cities in Morocco.
Marrakech, also called 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 Graves of the 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. These 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, snake charmers, and musicians. The Menara Garden is considered to be the most romantic place in the city of Marrakech. 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.
The well-maintained beaches, palm-lined boulevards, and the beach-front bars make Agadir one of the most popular tourist attractions. Visitors can ride a camel, rent a beach buggy, or check out the Suq al-Had market that 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 and beautiful golf courses, and there is some form of night-life. It 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.
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, which is 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 largest city in the entire continent of Africa. It is considered to be the economic capital of Morocco because of its extensive influence on Moroccan economy.it is the primary naval base for the Royal Moroccan Navy, and was an important strategic port during the 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's history dates back to the third century BCE, with the settlement of Chellah colonies. It was later ruled by the Romans. In 1146, the Almohad ruler Abd al-Mu'min turned Rabat's ribat (which means stronghold) into a full-scale fortress in order to use it as a launching point for attacks on Spain. Rabat, along with its sister city Sale, has a population of about one million and provides a good first base to start exploring the country 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 the 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 a 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.