Moulay Idriss Zerhoun

Moulay Idriss
Moulay Idriss

Location in Morocco

Coordinates: 34°3′15″N 5°31′38″W / 34.05417°N 5.52722°W / 34.05417; -5.52722
Country  Morocco
Region Meknès-Tafilalet
Elevation 1,740 ft (530 m)
Population (2004)
  Total 12,611
Time zone WET (UTC+0)
  Summer (DST) WEST (UTC+1)
The mosque of Moulay Idriss.
The mosque of Moulay Idriss.

Moulay Idriss or Moulay Idriss Zerhoun (Arabic: مولاي إدريس), a town in northern Morocco located at 34°3′15″N 5°31′38″W / 34.05417°N 5.52722°W / 34.05417; -5.52722Coordinates: 34°3′15″N 5°31′38″W / 34.05417°N 5.52722°W / 34.05417; -5.52722, is spread over two hills at the base of Mount Zerhoun, the holy town of Moulay Idriss Zerhoune holds a special place in the hearts of the Moroccan people. It was here that Moulay Idriss I arrived in 789, bringing with him the religion of Islam, and starting a new dynasty. In addition to founding the town named after him, he also initiated construction of Fez, continued later by his son, Moulay Idriss II.[1]

The town itself is compact, and its narrow streets will feel familiar to anyone who has spent time in the medinas of other Moroccan cities. Just off the main square is the Mausoleum of Idriss I, a sacred destination that is open only to Muslims. It is said in Morocco that six pilgrimages to Moulay Idriss during the annual festival honoring the saint is equivalent to one Haj to Mecca. Also of note is the round minaret at another mosque in town, the only one in Morocco.

The ruins of the Phoenician and Roman city of Volubilis[2] are located just five kilometers away. Moulay Idriss I took many materials from here in order to build his town. Further away are the cities of Meknes (25 kilometers away) and Fez. Both can be reached by public transport. Facilities in Moulay Idriss include banks, cafes and restaurants, as well as a small selection of hotels.

The hills around Moulay offer numerous opportunities for hiking and photography. The fertile plain of the Saiss Valley spreads out beneath the town, and olive groves dot the countryside.


See also


  1. Stefan Goodwin, Africa's Legacies of Urbanization: Unfolding Saga of a Continent, 2006, Lexington Books, 514 pages. ISBN 0739107313.
  2. C. Michael Hogan, Volubilis, The Megalithic Portal, ed. Andy Burnham (2007)
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Moulay Idriss.
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