Tag Archives: africa

Archaeological Site of Volubilis

The Mauritanian capital, founded in the 3rd century B.C., became an important outpost of the Roman Empire and was graced with many fine buildings. Extensive remains of these survive in the archaeological site, located in a fertile agricultural area. Volubilis was later briefly to become the capital of Idris I, founder of the Idrisid dynasty, who is buried at nearby Moulay Idris.

Since 1997 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Patrik for the postcard.

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Medina of Marrakesh

Founded in 1070โ€“72 by the Almoravids, Marrakesh remained a political, economic and cultural centre for a long period. Its influence was felt throughout the western Muslim world, from North Africa to Andalusia. It has several impressive monuments dating from that period: the Koutoubiya Mosque, the Kasbah, the battlements, monumental doors, gardens, etc. Later architectural jewels include the Bandiรข Palace, the Ben Youssefย Madrasa, the Saadian Tombs, several great residences and Place Jamaรข El Fna, a veritable open-air theatre.

Since 1985 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Patrick for the postcard.

Medina of Essaouira (formerly Mogador)

Essaouira is an exceptional example of a late-18th-century fortified town, built according to the principles of contemporary European military architecture in a North African context. Since its foundation, it has been a major international trading seaport, linking Morocco and its Saharan hinterland with Europe and the rest of the world.

Since 2001 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Edgar for the postcard.

Medina of Fez

Founded in the 9th century and home to the oldest university in the world, Fez reached its height in the 13thโ€“14th centuries under the Marinids, when it replaced Marrakesh as the capital of the kingdom. The urban fabric and the principal monuments in the medina โ€“ย madrasas, fondouks, palaces, residences, mosques and fountains – date from this period. Although the political capital of Morocco was transferred to Rabat in 1912, Fez has retained its status as the country’s cultural and spiritual centre.

Since 1981 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Edgar for the postcard.

Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou

Theย ksar, a group of earthen buildings surrounded by high walls, is a traditional pre-Saharan habitat. The houses crowd together within the defensive walls, which are reinforced by corner towers. Ait-Ben-Haddou, in Ouarzazate province, is a striking example of the architecture of southern Morocco.

Since 1987 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Edgar for the postcard.

M’Zab Valley

A traditional human habitat, created in the 10th century by the Ibadites around their five ksour (fortified cities), has been preserved intact in the Mโ€™Zab valley. Simple, functional and perfectly adapted to the environment, the architecture of Mโ€™Zab was designed for community living, while respecting the structure of the family. It is a source of inspiration for todayโ€™s urban planners.

Since 1982 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Karim for the postcard.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area spans vast expanses of highland plains, savanna, savanna woodlands and forests. Established in 1959 as a multiple land use area, with wildlife coexisting with semi-nomadic Maasai pastoralists practicing traditional livestock grazing, it includes the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater, the worldโ€™s largest caldera. The property has global importance for biodiversity conservation due to the presence of globally threatened species, the density of wildlife inhabiting the area, and the annual migration of wildebeest, zebra, gazelles and other animals into the northern plains. Extensive archaeological research has also yielded a long sequence of evidence of human evolution and human-environment dynamics, including early hominid footprints dating back 3.6 million years.

Since 1979 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Ahmed for the postcard.