Best Monuments of Morocco
Choosing the best monuments in Morocco is no easy task, given the abundance of stunning and unique options. It’s a subjective decision, influenced by individual tastes and the circumstances of the visit. Factors like having a knowledgeable guide or favorable weather can enhance the experience of a particular monument.
In this post, we will highlight the best monuments in Morocco, which are included in our country-wide circuits. These attractions are a must-see for their beauty and significance, providing an unforgettable experience for all travelers.
First of all: what are The Monuments of Morocco?
Defining the concept of monuments in Morocco is essential before exploring the best ones. These are man-made structures, preferably with historical significance, that hold special symbolism. The list includes forts, palaces, madrassas (Quranic schools), mausoleums, and more…
While mosques can also be considered monuments, it’s crucial to note that access is usually restricted for non-Muslims, limiting tourist contemplation to the exterior. Nevertheless, the grandeur and significance of certain mosques warrant their inclusion in this list. Let’s explore these remarkable monuments that showcase the rich history and culture of Morocco.
The Most important Monument in Morocco
When choosing the most important monument in Morocco, various criteria can be considered. While ratings on sites like TripAdvisor and the number of visitors per year are relevant, we have opted for a more intangible approach: the monument’s fame and visual power as a tourist attraction. One such remarkable monument is the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech.
The Koutoubia Mosque is an outstanding example of Almohad architecture, dating back to the 12th century, with subsequent modifications. Its reddish brick complements the green and white ceramics, mirroring the colors of Morocco’s flag. The captivating arches, such as poly-lobed and horseshoe arches, add an exotic touch to its beauty.
While the mosque cannot be visited, its presence is undeniable and visible from various points in the medina, particularly from the top of Jemaa el Fna Square. This lively square, declared Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO, adds to the charm of Marrakech and creates an unforgettable experience in the heart of the historic center.
The other Best Monuments in Morocco
On this list of the best monuments in Morocco, it could well take the place of the Koutoubia mosque in Marrakech. We list them below, though not necessarily in ascending or descending order. They are distributed throughout the country’s geography, as you can see if you place them on a map of Morocco. So, wherever you travel, you will surely have the opportunity to see one or more during your circuit!
1- Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah
Ait Ben Haddou, a fortified village in Morocco, stands out as one of the country’s best monuments. Its remarkable architecture, showcasing Berber craftsmanship from the 17th century, is complemented by its picturesque oasis location on the way to the desert. This breathtaking setting has made it a popular filming location, including for the Game of Thrones series. A visit to Ait Ben Haddou offers a glimpse into Morocco rich history and culture, with its captivating appearance leaving a lasting impact on travelers. With its unique blend of history, architecture, and cinematic charm, Ait Ben Haddou is a must-see destination during any trip through Morocco.
2 – Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca
The Hassan II Mosque inaugurated in 1993, is a significant monument in Morocco. Its towering minaret, reaching about 200 meters, makes it one of the tallest mosques globally. Beyond its impressive size, the mosque stands out for its sumptuous and intricate architecture, defying common perceptions of religious buildings. Unlike many mosques in Morocco, the Hassan II Mosque is open for visits, offering a rare chance to explore its sacred space and appreciate its cultural and spiritual importance firsthand. Visiting this magnificent landmark provides a unique and enriching experience, making it a must-see attraction for travelers in Morocco.
3 – Hassan Tower in Rabat
The Hassan Tower in Rabat is a remarkable example of Almohad architecture, similar to the Koutoubia mosque in Marrakech and the Giralda in Seville, Spain. Originally designed as the minaret for a grand 12th-century mosque, it remains unfinished but has become an iconic symbol of the capital. The tower’s distinct sebka pattern makes it instantly recognizable. Its connection with the Koutoubia and Giralda creates a cultural and historical link between Morocco and Spain, highlighting the shared heritage of the region. The Hassan Tower stands as a testament to the rich architectural legacy of the Almohad dynasty and is a must-visit monument in Rabat.
4 – Mausoleum of Mohammed V in Rabat
Very close to the Hassan Tower, practically forming the same space with it, is the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, where the remains of this important Moroccan king, architect of his political independence, rest (among others). Like the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, this Arab-Andalusian style construction is recent (from the 60s-70s of the last century), but the elegance of its lines and the splendor of its interior and exterior materials (Italian white marble, traditional zellige, local mahogany wood…) make it one of the best monuments in Morocco.
5 – Marrakech Bahia Palace
Among the many magnificent palaces in Marrakech, the Bahia Palace stands out as a true gem from the late 19th century. Open to visitors, this splendid palace showcases its ornate walls, ceilings, and floors, even though its original furniture has been removed. The exquisite decorations are a testament to the grandeur of the past, making it a must-see tourist attraction. Adding to its allure are the intriguing legends surrounding its former inhabitants, most notably Si Moussa, the grand vizier who commissioned its construction. Exploring the Bahia Palace offers a captivating glimpse into the opulence and history of Morocco royal heritage.
6 – Royal Palace in Fes
The Royal Palace of Fes, dating back to the 14th century and owned by the Alawite royal family, is a significant monument in Morocco. While visitors can only view its main façade near the Jewish quarter (Allah), the palace’s splendid golden doors made of bronze and exquisite tilework showcase Fes’ reputation as a center for fine ceramics. Despite restricted access, the Royal Palace of Fes remains a symbol of Morocco rich royal heritage and architectural magnificence.
7 – Madrasa Bou Inania in Fes
Fes’ historical significance as the former political, cultural, and religious capital of Morocco is evident in its magnificent monuments. Among them, the Bou Inania Madrasa stands out as a gem of 14th-century Merinid architecture. This splendid structure impresses with its intricate marble, fine woodwork, and stunning tiles, showcased in its muqarnas ceilings, latticework, and column capitals. The Bou Inania Madrasa is a testament to the rich artistic heritage of Fes and rightfully earns its place among the best monuments in Morocco.
8 – Bab el Mansour Gate in Meknes
Meknes holds delightful surprises for travelers, and at the heart of this imperial city lies one of the best monuments in Morocco: the Bab Mansour Gate. This majestic entrance stands as the grandest access to the medina’s surrounding wall, reflecting the opulence brought by Sultan Moulay Ismail in the 17th century. With its triumphal arch design, the Bab Mansour Gate serves as a testament to the propaganda and splendor of Sultan Moulay Ismail’s government during that era. Its impressive presence adds to Meknes’ allure, making it a must-visit destination for those exploring Morocco historical treasures.
9 – Skala, The Maritime Fortress of Essaouira
Essaouira, a UNESCO World Heritage City, boasts a unique monument: a maritime fortress built by the Portuguese in the 15th century when the area was known as Mogador. This historical fortress overlooks a charming fishing port, adding a picturesque touch to the surroundings. Fans of ‘Game of Thrones may recognize it from scenes filmed here.
While this list highlights ten remarkable monuments, Morocco has many more impressive landmarks waiting to be explored during your journey. Each city offers its captivating proposals, and the country’s natural wonders, such as the rocky arches of Legzira beach, the mythical Caves of Hercules, and the golden dunes of Erg Chebbi, hold the power to attract glances, photographs, and curious travelers. So, when planning your trip, you can customize your list based on the remarkable experiences that await you in each city, and also add the awe-inspiring natural monuments that spontaneously grace Morocco’s landscape.
So if you want to plan a trip in which none of the most important monuments in Morocco is missing, let our team advise you, an expert in configuring tailor-made trips to Morocco: we will include professional guides, who will explain the most interesting details about them.