Museums & Historical Sites
Civilisation in Morocco goes back to prehistoric times - thirty centuries that have included Roman, Berber and Arab cultures. Traces of human settlements along the Atlantic Coast, particularly in the Casablanca region, date back to 800,000 BC, while the Berbers probably settled in the region around 5000 BC. Bronze-age Berber carvings on rocks have been found the High Atlas, while Berber script appeared around 600 BC. A people known as the Atlantes (who gave their name to Morocco’s mountains and its ocean) lived in the region of the Middle Atlas. From 1200 BC, the area had been occupied by many invading cultures, but the most visible influence of all the pre-Islamic cultures is Roman. Much remains to be discovered or excavated in Morocco, but the traveller who wants to gets a sense of this legacy while visiting the country could add the impressive ruins of Cotta in Tangier, Lixus near Larache, and Volubilis near Meknes. There are also some surprising cave dwellings at Tarraga, Tamegoul, Merkala, Taourirt, Erfoud, Taous and, the most impressive, Foum El Hassan.
Morocco is rich in museums overflowing with treasures; carpets, pottery, garments or arms, everything is a work of art. As the representation of humans or animals is contrary to the teachings of Islam, artists have channelled all their creative effort into producing infinite variations of abstract, geometric or stylised motifs.
Moroccan museums are very often monuments in their own right; even empty, they can be well worth a visit. However, a visit to the museums of Morocco is not merely an introduction to part of humanity's heritage; it is in fact an opportunity to experience a total enchantment of the spirit and the senses.
National museums are generally closed on Tuesdays and those museums located in government office buildings may be closed at weekends. Opening hours vary from one museum to another. They open between 08.30 and 09.30, and close between 17.30 and 18.30, usually closing for one hour at lunch time (check locally).
The following are a list of the major museums throughout Morocco - click on each name for more information (opens in new browser window).
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Date last edited:
12 November 2012