Tangier American Legation Museum: In 1786, Morocco became the first country to formally recognize the infant United States of America. The Legation building was presented as a gift by Sultan Moulay Slimane to the American people in 1821 and housed the U.S. ambassador for the next 135 years. Conveniently located within Tangier's medina, the building, now a museum, houses various exhibitions showcasing the connection between the two countries and the many U.S. citizens who have resided in the city over the years. The Paul Bowles room is dedicated to the late writer, while another room displays a copy of a 1789 letter from George Washington to his "Great and Magnanimous Friend, the Emperor of Morocco," Sultan Moulay Ben Abdallah.
Mausoleum of Mohammed V (Rabat): The burial shrine of the current king's grandfather and father is a place of reverence for Moroccans and visitors alike. In a dignified building watched over by elaborately dressed Royal Guards, the white onyx tombs of Mohammed V and his sons Hassan II and Moulay Abdellah can be viewed from an upper balcony.
Ben Youssef Medersa (Marrakech): Marrakech's 16th-century former Koranic school is one of the country's best examples of Islamic architecture. Try to ignore the steady stream of large tour groups, and marvel at the carved cedar facades and exquisite stucco and zellij (tilework). Quiet corners can often be found in one of the upper dormitories' cell-like rooms, where up to 800 students were housed. Apart from learning the Koran, students would also immerse themselves in Islamic law and the sciences.
Hassan II Mosque (Casablanca): Built to commemorate the former king's 60th birthday, Casablanca's premier house of prayer is one of the largest in the world, able to house 25,000 worshipers under its retractable roof and another 80,000 in the courtyards and squares outside. Non-Muslims can view the mosque's interior on a guided tour, where the country's master craftsmen pulled out all stops to produce an amazing display of plaster, marble, glass, wood, and zellij.
Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail (Meknes): The burial place of Morocco's longest-serving ruler, this is another of the few spiritual monuments open to non-Muslims. A relatively bland exterior and a series of plain yet serene courtyards lead the visitor to a quiet, cool anteroom, resplendent in exquisite zellij, carved plaster, and marble columns ransacked from nearby Volubilis. From here, visitors can view the tomb from behind a small barrier and reflect on the life of a man both respected and feared by subjects and opponents alike.
Volubilis: From A.D. 45 to 285, Volubilis was the capital of the Roman province Mauritania Tingitana and the southernmost outpost of the vast empire. Home to at least 20,000 inhabitants during its peak, the city's wealth was built upon exporting vast quantities of olives and wheat back to Rome, as well supplying that city's coliseums with the majority of their gladiator-fighting lions. Virtually deserted by the 11th century and totally flattened by a devastating earthquake in 1755, the ruins of the city were partially excavated and reconstructed during the protectorate era. The site's triumphal arch, forum, and faded but still beautiful mosaics are best discovered during cool early mornings or at sunset.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.