REGIONS of MOROCCO
About 45 percent of Moroccans live in towns. This ratio is expected to be in balance by the end of the century. The towns and the large cities of Morocco today, swallow a considerable amount of migrants from the rural areas with a humble patience, each year. In every Moroccan city, it is easy to observe the influence of Arabic and also European, mainly French, styles on the buildings or even the quarters.
Among the major cities of Morocco, the most important ones are Casablanca, Rabat, Marrakesh, Agadir, Fez, Meknes, Tangier.
A business capital of increasing importance, and an international metropolis whose development is linked to its harbour trade. Casablanca is today an important centre in world affairs. A commercial and industrial city. Casablanca still retains its strong religious traditions in the mosque of Hassan II, one of the most spectacular in the world.
The capital of a modern nation, Rabat symbolises the infinite variety of Morocco. Set in a rich, amber coloured landscape, dotted with distinctive nettle trees, it elegantly combines an ancient history with modern culture.
Framed by the snowy heights of the Atlas, with rose-coloured ramparts and a thousand year old palm grove, Marrakesh casts a magical spell. Sumptuous and exunerant, it radiates splendour and mysticism; at the dye merchants, in the explosion of multicoloured wools; at Festival time, in the rhythm of the music, in the emotion of the dancers; in the idle talk of the merchants and in the skill of the jugglers. Enchantments, you feel it in the shades of the blue gardens and in the overwhelming perfection of the Koutoubia.
This holy city is a jewel of Hispano-Arabic civilization. Fez does not reveal its secrets easily. Secretive, shadowy, they need to be discovered little by little, with reverence. Only in this way can the splendours of Medersa architecture be fully appreciated. Bustling with artisans and merchants, its captivating sounds, fragrances and colours mesmerise the visitor with a constant swirl of activity.
This is an historic city whose splendour attracted architects, engineers and artists. Meknes and its surroundings have remained unchanged for centuries. At sunset the imperial city glows as the ramparts reflect the fading lights. You can relax in the cool of ots lush gardens. Or you can lose yourself in the history at Moulay Idriss, by the tomb of the founder of the first Arab dynasty and among the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Volubilis.
Tangier is Morocco's 11th largest city and the most cosmopolitan of all Moroccan cities. It is steeped in legend and its history involves interaction with Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Portugese and Spanish. It was even ruled by Brittish empire at the end of the 17th century. At the beginning of the 20th century, the city was designated an international port so that no one power would have absolute control on both sides of the Strait of Gibraltar.
This tiny Moroccan city was destroyed badly by an earthquake in 1960 and virtually rebuilt from the bottom. It is not a typical Moroccan city any longer. The city is surrounded by a number of modern resorts and attract large numbers of European tourists.