Morocco is located at the crossroads of several worlds: African, Mediterranean, Christian and Islamic. From these varied influences the country has forged a distinctive culture, apparent in its arts and architecture, language, cuisine and outlook on the world.
Morocco has felt the influences of several ancient cultures. Excavations have unearthed elements of the Phoenician, Greek, Carthaginian and Roman civilizations. Christianity spread to this region in Roman times and survived the Arab invasion, but Arabic influences, which began in the 7th century, were to prove the strongest. The Arabs brought to Morocco a written language that is still the primary language of business and culture. Over the centuries Morocco received an influx of Moors and Jews, who left Spain as a result of the Christian conquest or the Inquisition. As a result of Moorish influence, Morocco developed a style of music and architecture known as Arab-Andalusian. It soon spread to the rest of Islamic North Africa. The western African influence, seen in dances and other arts, spread northward with the establishment of trade routes across the Sahara from the 10th century onwards. Among more recent cultural influences, the strongest is that of France.
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Date last edited:
12 November 2012