Morocco has been recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) by selecting nine sites in its territory as world heritage sites:
- Archaeological site of Volubilis in Meknes, was selected in 1979. An important Roman outpost that has several buildings of which remains still survive extensively until today. The site was built 300 BCE and become Mauritania’s capital.
- Historic City of Meknes, was selected in 1996. The city was founded by sultan Moulay Ismail in the 11th century who made it to be the capital of the country in his era. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Meknes turned into a city with Spanish-Moorish influence.
- Ksar of Ait-Ben Haddou in Ouarzazate, was selected in 1987. Surrounded by high walls and reinforced with corner towers, the site is a typical example of a traditional pre-Saharan habitat.
- Medina of Essaouira was selected in 2001. It was formerly known as Mogador. The fortified seaport built during the late 18th century has a mix of North African and European architecture, and was a major trading hub between the Sahara and Europe.
- Medina of Fez was selected in 1981. The former capital was founded in the 9th century and features the world’s oldest university “Al Quarawiyine”.
- Medina of Marrakesh was selected by UNESCO in 1985. The town was founded in the 11 century and remained a political, economic, and cultural centre for a long time. Monuments from that period include the Koutoubia Mosque, the Kasbah, and the battlements.
- Medina of Tetouan was selected as a world heritage in 1997. It was previously called Titawin. Morocco’s most complete Medina served as the main point of contact between Morocco and Andalusia during the 8th century.
- Portuguese City of Mazagan in El Jadida was selected in 2004. It was built by the Portuguese as a military settlement from the early 16th century when they invaded the land before the city was reclaimed by Morocco in 1769. Surviving buildings including the famous cistern are still witnesses of that history.
- Rabat, the modern capital and historic city was selected in 2012. Rebuilt under the direction of the French from 1912 to the 1930. The city blends historic and modern features, such as botanical gardens, the Hassan Tower, and the remnants of Moorish and Andalusian settlements from the 17th century.