Morocco’s Capital – Rabat

Estuary mouth Rabat

Rabat is the capital city of Morocco and its second largest city, located on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the river Bou Regreg. It is one of four Imperial cities of Morocco, and contains several World Heritage Sites. One of the most popular tourist sites is on the southern side of the estuary, where several important historical attractions are located.Hassan Tower

The Hassan Tower  is the incomplete minaret of an incomplete mosque, both intended to be the biggest in the world when construction began in 1199. In order for the muezzin to get to the top for the call to prayer, the tower was designed with ramps so a horse could be used.

Royal horse guards stand at attention at the entrance to the complex. All that remains of the original mosque is some crumbling walls and many marble columns.moque ruins Rabat

Mausoleum of Mohammed VNearby the Hassan Tower, on the esplanade, is the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, containing the tombs of the Moroccan king and his two sons, late King Hassan II and Prince Abdallah. Tomb of Mohammed V

Once inside, non-Muslims are permitted to view the tomb chamber from the floor above.

ChellahFurther south along the river is Chellah, a medieval, fortified, Muslim necropolis. Once a Carthaginian and later a Roman port before the extensive silting of the river, the ruined city was rebuilt during the 12th century and added to in the 14th century to include a Muslim sanctuary complex of mosque, minaret, and royal tombs, some of which can still be found. Chellah ruins

Chellah minaretThe tall minaret of the now-ruined mosque can still be seen; a favourite nesting place for storks. Roman ruins include a forum, a triumphal arch, a Temple of Jupiter and a craftsmen’s quarter.

A sacred pool containing eels is reputed to assist women with fertility and childbirth if they bring hard-boiled eggs to feed the fish. Seems like the cats know there’s fish in there!Sacred Pool Chellah

Near the mouth of the estuary is the World Heritage site of the Kasbah of the Oudaias, built in the 12th century, but abandoned some 50 years later. This was the original fortress (ribat) that gave Rabat its name. Kasbah of the Oudaias

Door Kasbah of the OudaiasBeyond the huge gate and fortified walls  is a pretty community of white-washed and blue-painted houses which are a  photographer’s delight. Great views can be had across the estuary mouth to the beach of the conurbation, Salé, and the huge cemetery outside the city walls on the other side.

Sale beach

Our time in Rabat was limited as we had already travelled across from Meknes that day and had yet to reach Casablanca for our hotel for the night. We hoped to do some wandering around on our own there before it got dark.

Rabat Day Trip from Casablanca – $111.79This day trip from Casablanca offers a comprehensive introduction to the capital of Morocco, Rabat. On your sightseeing tour, visit top Rabat attractions including the Hassan Tower, the Mausoleum of Mohammed V and the Kasbah of the Udayas, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your day is filled with fascinating historical, cultural and religious insights from your driver-guide and also explore the maze of narrow streets of the Old Medina of Rabat. Numbers are limited to 18 people on this small-group tour, so you’ll enjoy a more personalized sightseeing experience.

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