History of Morocco
Morocco’s history is a colorful tapestry that incorporates elements from many different cultures. It has been around since the time of the original Berber settlers. After the Phoenicians, the Romans, and the Byzantines occupied the area, each left a distinct mark on the landscape. Cultural and religious shifts, however, were introduced by the Arab-Muslim conquest of the 7th century.
The Almoravids, Almohads, and Marinids were only some of the kingdoms that rose and fell in Morocco, leaving behind stunning architecture like the Koutoubia Mosque and the city of Fes. Portuguese and Spanish interests encroached upon Moroccan territory throughout the 15th century as a result of European nautical exploration.
The Saadian dynasty unified Morocco in the 17th century, ushering in an era of peace and prosperity. The Alaouite dynasty came to prominence in the late 17th century and is still in control today. In the 19th and 20th centuries, European colonial ambitions resulted in French and Spanish protectorates over areas of Morocco, which in turn fueled nationalist sentiments.
Morocco became an independent country in 1956, and modernization efforts were quickly put into motion by King Mohammed V. Arab, Berber, and European influences all come together in surprising ways in the country’s architecture, cuisine, and way of life. Modern-day Morocco is a thriving country that straddles the continents of Africa and Europe, and its fascinating past has left an indelible mark on its present-day character.