Moulay Idriss Zerhoun, also known as Moulay Idriss, is a town in Northern Morocco situated on a hilltop overlooking the UNESCO World Heritage archaeological site of Volubilis. This is considered the holiest city in Morocco and holds a special place in the hearts of Moroccans.
A Brief History of This Holy City
Moulay Idriss I, the first Arab ruler and founder of the Idrisid dynasty, first arrived in this town in 789 and brought with him the Islamic religion. The Mausoleum of Idriss I is located within this town, but only Muslims are permitted to enter its premises as it is considered a holy site. This small town holds a special place in the hearts of the Moroccans and is also considered the holiest Islamic pilgrimage site in Morocco. Some Moroccans would consider six pilgrimages to Moulay Idriss Zerhoun during the annual saint-honoring festival to be equivalent to one Hajj to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
What Moulay Idriss is Like Today
Prior to 2005, this holy city was off-limits for non-Muslim travelers to stay overnight. Much has changed since then. Today, any non-Muslim travelers visiting this town can easily find a guesthouse for an overnight stay and will find themselves to be warmly welcomed. Many tourists visiting Volubilis will also make the 5km trek to visit the nearby holy city as well.
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