On the Atlantic plain are the most ancient of the structures discovered in Morocco – the remains of the Phoenician colonies of the 1st millennium BC. The oldest of them, Lyx, was founded at the confluence of the river of the same name into the Atlantic Ocean. The city of Volubilis, located at the foot of Mount Zerhuna, belongs to the period of Roman rule. It was built in II-III centuries. These are the most beautiful and expressive ruins of the Roman period in Morocco. The capitol, the basilica, the baths, residential buildings (House of Labors of Hercules, “House of Venus”, etc.) have been excavated and partially restored. The Moroccan people have a rich cultural heritage that has common roots with the culture of other Arab peoples. The old traditional cities of Morocco are kept to our days, many majestic examples of classical Arab-Berber architecture: mosques, fortifications, palaces, madrasas, baths, aqueducts, fountains. An outstanding monument of cult monumental architecture, the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech, dates back to the 12th century (the Golden Age), striking with strict and beautiful proportions: a high minaret tower with three tiers of elongated windows and decorative arches is crowned with a superstructure with a small graceful dome. In the prayer hall of the mosque, high horseshoe-shaped arches resting on 150 pylons form an enfilade that creates the impression of measured movement. The sights of Marrakech are also the palace of the Sultan with a garden, the fortress walls, the tombs of the Sultan’s family. The grandiose tower of the minaret of the unfinished Hasan mosque (XII century) preserved in Rabat indicates that the Rabat mosque should have been much larger than the famous mosque in Cordoba (VIII-X century). In Rabat, it will be interesting to see the Museum of Antiquity, the Museum of Moroccan Art, the remains of the Yaqub al-Mansour Mosque (XII century). In the city of Casablanca, tourists will be interested in seeing the Great Mosque of Hassan II, and in Fes, the Moulay Idris Mosque (IX century), one of the most protected shrines. In Safi – the ruins of the Sultan’s castle of the XVI century. During the reign of the Almohads and their successors, powerful walls with towers and arches were built that surrounded medieval cities. They have been preserved in whole or in part in Marrakesh, Rabat, Meknes, Fez. The most picturesque are the city gates with a large opening in the form of a horseshoe-shaped arch, decorated with a delicate ornament of a geometric pattern. Numerous monuments of medieval architecture of the XIII-XVI centuries can be seen in Fez, Meknes, Sale (Muslim madrasahs), Marrakech (the tomb of the Saadian dynasty), Taza (Great Mosque). The best creations of Moroccan national architecture of the 17th-20th centuries – the Bab al-Mansour gate in Meknes, the Dar-Bata palaces in Fez, Dar-Jalia in Meknes, Bahia in Marrakech, royal residences (Dar es Salaam and Riaz palaces) – stand out refinement of forms and richness of decor. Of the modern buildings, the most interesting is the ensemble of the mausoleum of Mohammed V with a tomb cube made of white Carrara marble. Quarters of artisans are concentrated in the old capital cities – Fes, Meknes, Marrakech, as well as in Rabat, Tangier, Sal, Tetouan and other centers. Products of local artisans – original furniture, carpets, countless women’s jewelry made of silver, gold and other valuable materials, various souvenirs (leather products, dishes, inlaid edged weapons, etc.). Rabat carpets are especially valued.
Morocco: Money and currency of Morocco
Money, CURRENCY EXCHANGE Moroccan dirham (Dh) equal to 100 centimes. In circulation are banknotes of 200, 100, 50 and 10 dirhams, as well as coins of 5, 1 dirham and 5, 10, 20 and 50 centimes. In the southern regions and in some places in the highland villages of the Atlas, the currency unit rial (1/20 dirham) is still in use.Banks are open from Monday to Friday from 08:30 to 11:15 and from 14:15 to 16:00. Saturday and Sunday are holidays. During Ramadan, banks are open from 08:30 to 14:00. Opening hours may vary depending on the internal policy of the bank. The dirham is not convertible, the export of currency is prohibited, so it is not recommended to exchange large amounts at once. According to EQUZHOU, you can exchange currency at banks, large hotels and some large restaurants, as well as at specialized exchange offices at the airports of Rabat, Casablanca and Marrakech. Currency exchange on the street and in unlicensed exchange offices is prohibited. The exchange rate is quite stable, it is the same throughout the country and is set by the state. ATMs are quite common and are located mainly near large retail outlets and banks. Credit cards are accepted in most restaurants, in almost all hotels and in most large stores, private traders are extremely reluctant to work with them. Traveler’s checks “American Express” are accepted almost everywhere, checks of other systems are less readily cashed.