Morocco has been influenced by several civilizations since Antiquity. Each has marked the land with an indelible imprint. This has produced an incomparable historical heritage.
Tolerance and openness :
The different civilizations which have followed on from each other in Morocco have each influenced our identity. Which undoubtedly explains the tolerance and open-mindedness of Moroccans. There are no culture clashes here, just meetings and sharing.
Berber origins :
According to legend it was Hercules who created Morocco when he opened the Strait of Gibraltar. Whatever the case, the presence of mankind here has been shown to date back 300,000 years. Originally inhabited by Berbers, the country opened up to Phoenician and Carthaginian influences, before submitting until the 5th century to the Romans. They would leave relics, such as the site at Volubilis, testifying to the prosperity which came from agricultural production. From 647, the Arab and Islamic conquest began.
Kingdom and dynasties :
In 788, Idriss I, contesting the power of Baghdad, founded the Idrisid kingdom in Volubilis. There followed the Almoravid dynasties, the Berber conquerors of the south, then the Almohads whose power extended into Muslim Spain, and finally the Merinids, Berbers from the high plateaus.
Varied heritage :
Religious tolerance, Andalusian heritage, and the prosperity of these dynasties created treasures which now constitute the cultural, artistic and architectural richness of the country. From the 16th century, the empires of Arabic, Saadian then Alaouite origin ensured the unity and independence of Morocco. Today, Morocco is ruled by His Majesty King Mohammed VI, crowned on July 30th, 1999; he is the 23rd king in the Alaouite dynasty which came to power at the beginning of the 17th century. The monarchy ensures the unity of the country, and the reign of Mohammed VI is marked by a desire to build a unified and modern democratic state, which respects its traditions and its identity.
The variety of Moroccan landscapes is incredible. You move from summits to plains, from the greenest vegetation to the most complete aridity.
Landscape and geography :
Morocco offers such geographical diversity that you can leave the beautiful beaches of Agadir in the morning to find yourself at the foot of the Oukmaiden ski slopes in the afternoon, before coming back down to experience a beautiful evening in the palm groves of Marrakech.
Plains and mountains :
When seen from the sky, Morocco – inserted between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic – has a long strip of mountains which runs from East to West before embedding itself in the sand at Mauritania. The landscapes are very varied and astonishing: the vertiginous snowy peaks of the (upper) High Atlas mountains, the crags and gullies of the Rif massifs, the dense forests of oaks and thuyas of the central plateau, the fertile plains of the Meseta, the arid lands of the high plateaus, the almost desert steppes and luxurious oases of the Souss basin and the Saharan sand dunes. It is magical!
Protected areas :
The various types of habitat have created diverse cultures which have enriched our identity. There is such a variety of landscapes that travelers will be happy no matter what the season. When snow blocks the Atlas roads, beach activities are still possible in the south.
Flora and fauna :
Each area has its native flora and fauna, which are now protected as part of the sustainable tourism development idea. Gazelles, eagles, mountain sheep and bat-eared foxes are not rare and it is easy to observe them going about their business. Morocco, sacrosanct nature…
The Kingdom of Morocco is a melting pot of cultures made diverse by successive newcomers. Communities here live in harmony, each respecting others' differences.
Tradition of cohabitation :
The numerous migrations that Morocco has experienced have created a spirit of tolerance and openness. Today Islam, Christianity and Judaism enrich one another spiritually and intellectually through the sharing and transmission of their culture.
Berber identity :
The first inhabitants of Morocco, the Berbers are one of the pillars of the country and are contributing a new strength to the modern Morocco. The Royal Institute of the Amazigh Culture was set up on October 17th, 2001. Since then Berber has become recognized as an official language. It is now included in school syllabuses and on national radio and televisions stations. The richness of Amazigh tradition is expressed most clearly during the Timitar festival in Agadir.
Tolerant Islam :
Down the centuries, Morocco has been able to encourage cohabitation between cultures. Mutual respect between religions practiced here has given birth to a peaceful society which shares traditions and values. Moroccan Islam's capacity to adapt to the constant evolution of society and to scientific, social and cultural progress ensures it a long-term future and respect.
Nondenominational dialogue :
Morocco has always encouraged a sprit of dialogue between religions for the promotion of progress and peace. Israel posthumously awarded the title of "Just among the Nations" to former sovereign Mohammed V for refusing to apply the racist laws of Vichy, thereby protecting Morocco's Jewish community.