Morocco Cities and Towns

By | December 12, 2021

Europeans give the name of Morocco to the western part of North Africa or Barbary from the name of the city of Morocco applied to the country as a whole; this name is not known by the natives who call the district Gharb (the West) or Maghreb el-Aksa (the extreme West). Politically Morocco is (see below) a sultanate placed under the French protectorate. A zone of influence is reserved for Spain in northern Morocco (Melilla, Ceuta, Tetuán, etc.). A special regime is reserved for Tangier.

Boundaries. – Morocco, between 33 ° and 29 ° of lat. N., 15 ° and 5 ° of long. O., is limited to O. by the Atlantic Ocean, to N. by the Mediterranean; to E. the natural boundary is marked by the course of the Moulouya; while a completely artificial border, determined only for about 150 km., from the sea to Teniel Sass, separates Morocco from Algeria. In S. towards the Sahara the borders are more uncertain; Moreover, the lower valley of the Oued Dra (Draa) can be considered arbitrarily as the limit on this side. Within these borders it has an area of ​​approximately 565,300 sq km.

Morocco, although so close to Europe, remained for a long time almost unexplored due to particular difficulties opposed to penetrating the country from its political conditions; only the coasts and ports open to trade were known, the only places where Europeans were allowed to reside. R. Caillié, G. Rohlfs, O. Lenz had reported very fragmentary information; the memorable explorations of the Viscount of Foucauld (1881-83) revealed in great strokes the structure of the country and the characters of the populations that inhabit it; other explorers, and in particular the Marquis of Segonzac (1901-1904) managed to penetrate the regions which had remained inaccessible for a long time, while geographers such as Th. Fischer extended their knowledge on the regions close to the Atlantic coast. But only after the proclamation of the French protectorate in 1912 did knowledge of Morocco progress rapidly. The Geographic Service took care of the design of an increasingly precise map: after Brives and Gentil, who had brought their first notions of geological structure, a group of geologists methodically studied the region, while the Moroccan Geological Service, established in 1921, and annexed to the Mining Service, coordinated its efforts. The Moroccan Institute of Higher Studies, the Sheriffian Scientific Institute, the Society of Natural Sciences of Morocco, the Geographical Society of Morocco study the country not only from a scientific point of view, but also from a moral and political point of view. For Morocco 1996, please check

Cities and towns. – Since the beginning of the occupation, the protectorate has been concerned with arranging the cities; there were ancient and important indigenous cities in Morocco and on the other hand the European population has so far remained almost entirely concentrated in the cities. The principle of separation between European cities and indigenous cities has been adopted, for political, health and aesthetic considerations.

There are three ḥaḍriyyah cities in Morocco, that is, with civilized and truly urban populations: Fez, Rabat and Tetuán; the residents of which are descendants more or less impure of the Moors of Spain. There are also four cities called makhzenia, ie imperial, where the sultan resides alternatively: Fez, Rabat, Meknès and Morocco. Fez and Morocco, capitals of northern Morocco and southern Morocco respectively, will probably remain indigenous cities; Casablanca, on the other hand, is the great European city of French Morocco. Rabat, with the adjoining Salé, is inhabited by officials and owes the relatively high figure of its population to being chosen as the administrative capital of the protectorate, because it was the only imperial city in contact with the sea and consequently with Europe. Meknès occupies a central position, has an excellent climate in an agricultural area where the roads from Tangier and Kenitra to Fez meet and the way from Fez to Morocco along the edge of the Middle Atlas. Oudjda remains the main center of eastern Morocco; among the more recent localids, Port-Lyautey (Kenitra) seems to be undergoing a major development. The population of the main cities of French Morocco is as follows (1931).

In Spanish Morocco the most important concentrations are made up almost entirely of Europeans: Melilla has 37,000 residents and Ceuta 35,000, almost all Spanish. In the area of ​​influence Tetuán has 44,000 residents, of which 25,000 are Europeans; Larache 16,000 residents; Tangier 46,000.

Morocco Boundaries