the country of morocco, a kingdom (still) is located in north-west africa, south of european spain and west of algeria. morocco has coasts to the atlantic ocean and the mediterranian sea. the population is 37 mio, and since 1956 rabat is the capital city.
the history of morocco is complex. the area of morocco has been settled for a very long time. since 500 b.c. the main people were berbers. only around 250 b.c the first kingdom was established. later for about 400 years morocco's northern area became part of the roman empire, and volubilis (located near meknes) was the main city. after that, in 788, idris-1 created the first state. during the following centuries the country was ruled by several dynasties, and for some time they 'owned' southern iberia in europe. yet in 1912, morocco, being weak, was divided into a french and a spanish protectorate, and tangier functioned as international zone. morocco (re-)gained independence in 1956.
in 1975 i have explored morocco - the coast, the famous 'imperial' cities, the mountains, and even roman ruins. at that time all my photography was done to create printed pictures for voyage albums. of those, none have been scanned yet for digital pic's. thus just a restricted set of images for the main targets of this travel will be presented below.
in a compact overview, each of the visited hubs is described with suitable pictures. essential for this essay are fez and volubilis.
the name "casa blanca" stands for "white house" - and that's what dominates in this large harbour city.
the city of fez is the second -largest and culturally leading city of morocco. it was first time its capital in 976, and then repeatedly until 1912 when rabat took over. all big historic buildings have survived well.
fez has a very long history in fabric colouring, and pertinent workshops were always part of fez. many are still in action.
the mosque al-qarawiyyn opened in 857, and in 859 the attached madrasa began teaching. morocco claims that this is the oldest university in the world! this is not strictly true though - firstly, because the madrasa of the university ez-zitouna in tunis started in 737, and secondly, the oldest university in academic terms is bologna in italy, founded in 1088. since 1965 al-qarawiyyn is formally a university. anyway, the design of the historic building is indeed very impressive.
this very large "imperial" city has mighty mosques buildings. it was founded in 1070, and twice functioned as morocco's capital.
but what it is realy known for is its medina, containing souks and souks and souks - about everything you can buy there!
especially exciting are the precious spice shops - they have a long-standing tradition in marrakech.
towns in the atlas mountains, especially in south-morocco, are usually built with the "moroccan earthen clay architecture". many buildings show graphic designs and special decorations.
the city of rabat is, since 1956, morocco's capital, and a major harbour. the large castle from the 12th century and the historic city walls are still a central feature.
this is, in its central section, a very tight and very high canyon, an driving through it is indeed impressive and almost scaring!
this (ex-)city, located near meknes, founded in the 3rd century b.c., and abandoned in the 11th century a.d., was for some time the capital of the mauretiana kingdom, and then for 300 years a large province town of the roman empire. nowadays it is visited because of its considerable roman remains. it is a unesco world heritage site - reason: "exceptionally well preserved example of a large roman colonial town".- see the plan below.
some main buildings still stand yet many were destroyed by an earthquake and then plundered.
exceptionally well preserved are mosaics, now a core interest of excavations in volubilis.
here are seven portraits of women - looking a bit stressed, except of medusa, it seems, and a dancer.....
bath houses were popular - also, yet not only, for health reasons.....
here are two men - - hopefully the reader doesn't think these portraits depict the author!
the volubilis gallery shall finish with a musician, playing a double flute, and a happy rave.