Morocco’s Historic Monuments: Top Beautiful Palaces To See In Person

Morocco is a site of rich cultural and historical heritage, and it is certainly no surprise that many monuments, temples, and palaces from the past have been preserved and continue to be marveled at today. From grand palaces steeped with secrets, mysterious ancient ruins and tombs, to intricately decorated mosques, there is something for all history buffs to enjoy and explore in Morocco. Here is a list of the top majestic palaces and monuments of Morocco that the country has to offer and are most worth visiting in person.

The Kasbah of Aït Ben Haddou

The Kasbah of Aït Ben Haddou is perhaps one of the most iconic palaces and monuments in Morocco. Located in the Atlas Mountains, it is one of the most-visited fortified cities in the country and has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. It is thought to be one of the oldest red-clay-crafted fortifications in North Africa.

The Kasbah has several monumental towers with keep doors and turrets, as well as numerous storehouses and granaries. Inside, the palace of Aït Benhaddou contains lots of carving and ornamentation, the highlight being the Hawd (water tank). It is said that this was once the meeting place for wealthy caravans back in the days and served as a crucial link between the Maghreb and the sub-Saharan regions of Africa.

Hassan II Mosque

The Hassan II Mosque is another of Morocco’s most impressive structures. Located in the bustling city of Casablanca, the mosque rises majestically from the ground at a height of 200m and is one of the largest mosques in the world.

The entire complex is no less than breathtaking. It was built over 6 years and was designed in an intricate, modern Islamic architecture. The interiors feature intricate carvings and stonework, while the exterior is adorned with cascading waterfalls and palm tree avenues. The mosque even comes equipped with the world’s tallest minaret at an astonishing 210m high.

Al Badii Palace

Another one of Morocco’s magnificent palaces is Al Badii Palace in Marrakesh. This beautiful palace was originally built by the Saadian Sultan Ahmed al-Mansour in the 16th century and was meant to be a grand display of power and wealth.

Today, the palace is in ruins and the grandeur is somewhat diminished compared to the time of its initial construction. However, despite the ruins that remain of this impressive palace, the building is still a stunning example of Moroccan design and architecture. It holds within its walls a number of fine examples of advanced stonework, tiled roofs, and colorful decorative inscriptions.

Chellah

Chellah is unequivocally one of the most fascinating and historically significant structures in Morocco today. Located in the ancient capital of Rabat, this large ancient city is connected to some of the most profound and powerful moments in the nation’s history. First built by the Romans in the 10th century BC and later used by the Berber Almoravids, the city remains as a testament to the country’s impressive history and rich cultural heritage.

At this archaeological site you can find impressive Roman and Islamic remains. The imposing gardens, walls, catacombs, and mausoleums, as well as a large mosque that was built in the 13th century in honor of the Almoravid ruler Yahya ibn Yusuf. Throughout the city there are a number of inscriptions that communicates the fascinating history of the site.

Bahia Palace

The brilliantly constructed Bahia Palace is home to one of the most impressive royal residences in Morocco. Built in the late 19th century, it is a museum of Moulay Ismail’s dynasty. The palace is a showcase of Moroccan design and is an illustration of the lavish lifestyle that Moroccan royalty was accustomed to.

The exteriors of the palace feature intricate zelliges (painted decorations) and arabesques (geometric patterns) and the interiors are just as impressive, with a splendid mix of intricate wood carvings, colorful mosaic tiles, gold-inlaid furniture, and much more. Everything from the courtyards to the large garden areas is simply breathtaking and reveals a time when wealth, luxury, and opulence flourished.

Mausoleum of Mohammed V

The Mausoleum of Mohammed V is one of the most revered and beloved landmarks in Morocco. Located in Rabat, the mausoleum is dedicated to the most-loved former Sultan Mohammed V and has become a symbol of national pride in Morocco.

The grand building was constructed in memory of the Sultan and it houses his two sons, King Hassan II and Abdel Latef. It is constructed with an impressive combination of Atlas cedar and is sculpted with beautiful carved wall reliefs in an art deco style. The main highlight is the main elongated courtyard flanked with square shaped structures covered in mosaics, plasterwork and carved stone. The highlight of the entire structure is surely the grand marble tomb beneath the dome casting a majestic aura above the mausoleum.

Ouarzazate Kasbah

Ouarzazate Kasbah is a stunning fort located near the city of Ouarzazate, in the south of Morocco. Dating back to the 14th century, this amazing palace has seen much change over the centuries. The fortress was initially a stronghold for trading caravans until the 18th century when it was expanded by the powerful El-Hiba dynasty.

In the 18th century, the walls of the complex were adorned with beautiful gardens, pools and fountains, making the palace a sight to behold. As of today, the palace stands in ruins after being abandoned in the 1800s. Despite the ruins, the majestic architecture of Ouarzazate Kasbah is still awe-inspiring.

From grand mosques, fortresses, and catacombs, to royal palaces and ancient ruins, Morocco is certainly a paradise for anyone to explore. With its rich history and diverse culture, no one can deny the country’s great influence in the world. Do make sure to explore the incredible monuments and palaces of Morocco when you visit and you’ll be in for an unforgettable experience.