Azrou (Berber: Aẓro, ⴰⵥⵔⵓ, Arabic: أزرو) is a Moroccan
town 89 kilometres south of Fez in
Ifrane Province of the Fès-Meknès
4 Picture Gallery
The city of
Azrou is located at a strategic crossroads between the
Middle Atlas and the
High Atlas between Meknes, Fez, Ifrane, Midelt
and Khenifra. The N13 road connects
Meknes in the north and
Timahdite in the south. The National Route N8 comes from
Sidi Addi in
the west and continues to
Ifrane in the north-east.
Azrou is at an altitude of 1250 m and surrounded by mountains covered
with green oak and cedar.
Cèdre Gouraud Forest
Cèdre Gouraud Forest is located to the north, where one of the
sub-populations of the Barbary macaque, Macaca sylvanus (called
magots) is found. In addition to its rich biodiversity symbolized
by the famous cedar forest there are the butterflies which are unique
in the world. The surroundings of
Azrou are a centre of attraction for
the residents, hikers, and picnickers of the large neighbouring towns.
These surroundings are also home to the 'Cedre Gouraud' or 'Grand
Cedar', a famous tourist attraction. This place is also famous due to
the macaque apes that live in the area and are drawn by tourist
activity. Moreover, the
Azrou forest provides an excellent hiking and
exercising environment and also holds a summer camp for children.
Azrou urban construction is in the European style (red tile roofs).
The region is also known for its cherry trees, apple trees, fish
farms, and the abandoned sanatorium in the surrounding metropolitan
area of Bensmim.
Azrou is a geomorphological name taken from the landform of a large
rock outcrop (Aẓro, ⴰⵥⵔⵓ, means "rock" or "stone" in the
Berber language Tamazight) in the centre of the city.
Azrou is mostly known for hosting the first high school in the Berber
region: the Berber high school of
Azrou (now the Tarik Ibn Ziad
school). It was built by the French colonial authorities in order to
train Moroccans for the colonial administration. It was one of the
instruments for the implementation of a Berber Dahir by which the King
Morocco left the Berbers to regulate their justice according to
their customs without resorting to other jurisdictions (Colonial or
"makhzen"). The college became an educational institution in the
reference area, forming part of the political and military elites from
1956 to 1973, after independence, the college was renamed
Ibn Ziad High School.
The city was long neglected by the Moroccan authorities since
independence in 1956 to the detriment of the nearby town of Ifrane.
Although it is the true capital of the
Middle Atlas and a city that
Morocco many leaders and intellectuals, the city still does
not officially rank as provincial capital although it is in practice.
Today the city has been transformed into a tourist destination. The
city has several hotels.
The Cèdre Gouraud Forest
The Rock of Azrou
A macaque in the forest of Azrou
The Place Muhammed V
The city has signed a protocol of cooperation with
Blois in July
Blois (France) since 2011.
Melle (France) since 1996.
^ "POPULATION LÉGALE DES RÉGIONS, PROVINCES, PRÉFECTURES,
MUNICIPALITÉS, ARRONDISSEMENTS ET COMMUNES DU ROYAUME D'APRÈS LES
RÉSULTATS DU RGPH 2014" (in
Arabic and French). High Commission for
Planning, Morocco. 8 April 2015. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
^ a b Tourist article (in French)
^ C. Michael Hogan, (2008) Barbary Macaque: Macaca sylvanus,
Globaltwitcher.com, ed. Nicklas Stromberg Archived 2012-04-19 at the
^ The College of Azrou, for berber civil and military élite in
Morocco, 1927-1959, Mohamed Benhlal (in French)
^ Twinnings of the town of
Blois (in French)
El Hajeb Province
Moulay Yacoub Province
Moulay Idriss Zerhoun
Outat El Haj
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