Morocco Facts

Morocco Facts and History


Morocco – Africa’s pearl in the north

Even if it hasn’t been an insider tip for a long time, it is always exciting: by car to Morocco.

You can take a ferry to Morocco from Italy, France or Spain. Only a little later you can feel the desert under your own wheels. And even a tire change is certainly more romantic on a Moroccan dune than on a German lifting platform. For water afraid there is not only aircraft but also a land border between Spain and Morocco. However, you can only cross this when you are already on the African continent: the Spanish exclaves Ceuta and Melilla border Morocco.

The borders of Morocco are also clearly defined in the east and west. The Atlantic Ocean remains peaceful in its seabed, and the serious border conflicts with Algeria are a thing of the past. On the other hand, it is still uncertain what is meant by southern Morocco. Does Morocco border the Western Sahara in the south? Or is the West Sahara a Moroccan national territory? The Western Sahara conflict has unfortunately still not been resolved – but at least there has been a ceasefire between Morocco and the independence movement Frente Polisario since 1991.

And so today everyone can drive from southern Europe to southern Morocco in their VW bus – wherever that is. On the way back to the north, you change your tires romantically again, give each other a sandstone in Marrakech and look each other in love at the end of the day in Casablanca.

Name of the country Kingdom of Morocco
Form of government parliamentary monarchy
Geographical location North West Africa
National anthem Hymn Chérifien
Population around 36.5 million (Credit: Countryaah: Morocco Population)
Ethnicities Arabs and Berbers
Religions 99% profess Islam (state religion)only approx. 0.1% are Christians
Languages Arabic is the official language
Capital Rabat
Surface 458,730 km²
Highest mountain Jbel Toubqâl with a height of 4,165 m
Longest river Oum er Rabia with a length of 555 km
Largest lake There are no larger lakes in Morocco.
International license plate MA
National currency Dirham
Time difference to CET – 1 h
International phone code 00212
Mains voltage, frequency 110 and 220 volts, 50 hertz
Internet TLD (Top Level Domain) .ma

Morocco: history

Until the 18th century

In antiquity, the kingdom of Mauritania came into being in what is now Morocco and western Algeria. The importance of the empire grew through the Trans-Saharan trade and the conquest of Spain. In AD 42, Mauritania was conquered by the Romans. From 429-534 dominated Vandals the country that fell in the 6th century in the Byzantine Empire. 680-700 the Arabs conquered Mauritania and subsequently Islamized it.

According to Abbreviationfinder website, independent dynasties ruled from 890, first the Idrisids, then from 986 to 1062 the Fatimids, then the Almoravids and Almohads with the capital of Marrakech, who also ruled Arab Spain. The Merinids followed in 1269, then the Watasids and the Sandites.

In 1415 the Portuguese and in 1497 the Spanish began to occupy parts of Morocco.

The Sherif of Tafilâlt, whose dynasty began in 1546, drove out the Europeans again and achieved the largest expansion of the Mauritanian Empire to date.

In 1667 the rule of the Alawiten/Aliden or Hassaniden began, a sideline of the Sherif, the dynasty that ruled Mauritania to this day.

In 1684 they drove the English from Tangier and in 1720 the last Portuguese from Ceuta.

In the 19th and 20th centuries

From 1844 to 1845, the Algerian Abd el-Kader’s flight to Morocco led to clashes with France.

In 1859/60 the Spaniards occupied Tetouan.

In 1904 the “peaceful penetration” of Morocco through France began under Abd al-Aziz.

Germany’s attempt to occupy Morocco failed after the two ” Morocco crises ” of 1905 and 1911.

In the same year, Spain expanded its protected area in northern Morocco. The uprising of the Rifkabylen, which broke out there in 1921, could not be put down with French help until 1926.

After the Allies landed in 1942, American President FD Roosevelt promised independence to Sultan Mohammed V ben Yusuf.

Morocco became independent on March 2, 1956; the Spanish protectorate zones and Tangier were annexed again.

In 1957 the Sultan assumed the title of king as Mohammed V. In 1961 he was followed by his son Hassan II.

Constitutional conditions and a party system could only develop with great difficulty because the king ruled very dictatorially. Above all, he took action against the left opposition. The left opposition politician Mehdi Ben Barka was kidnapped and murdered in 1965 while in exile in Paris with the help of French police officers.

In 1971 and 1972, two republican coup attempts against Hassan II failed.

The Western Sahara conflict

The annexation of further desert areas in North West Africa, including all of Mauritania and parts of Algeria, led to a border war with Algeria in 1963.

The former Spanish Sahara colony was divided between Morocco and Mauritania in 1975. There, the military resistance of the ” Polisario ” independence movement led to the so-called Western Sahara conflict.

In 1979, Mauritania renounced its share of the Western Sahara in favor of the Polisario and Morocco occupied the area. In 1984 Morocco left the Organization for African Unity (OAU) because it had accepted the Polisario as a member.

In 1991 Morocco and the Polisario agreed to a UN peace plan, which included holding a referendum in the disputed area.

In the parliamentary elections of 1998, the left opposition in Morocco came to power for the first time under Youssoufi.

After the death of Hassan II in 1999, his son Mohammed VI joined. took over the succession and began to introduce democratic reforms in the country. No solution has yet been found for the Western Sahara conflict.

Morocco Facts