What to see in Rabat: 5 must-see places
What to see in Rabat: We close our review of the Imperial Cities with the current capital of Morocco, Rabat. Its name derives from the word Ribat (Fortress) and reminds us, among other things, that it was the impregnable base from which they fought against the Spaniards in the 12th century. It was also the place of refuge for the Muslims expelled from Spain four centuries later. As we did with the previous posts on Marrakech, Fez and Meknes, we offer in this article a Top 5, this time on what to see in Rabat. Take note of these proposals that will make you discover one of the cities that, paradoxically, is not one of the most tourists of the country. But perhaps that makes it even more interesting. Will you join us on the trip?
The Kasbah des Oudaias, a place with charm
In this Top 5 of what to see in Rabat, the prize for the most beautiful place goes to the Kasbah Oudaias. It is a walled neighborhood made up of numerous houses painted neatly in blue. Its interior houses one of the most interesting archaeological museums in the country, as well as a museum of traditional art. But what makes the Kasbah des Oudaias unique are its sea views, which provide a pleasant moment of relaxation during the visit.
Hassan Tower, a unique minaret
What to see in Rabat: The Hassan Tower is probably the most symbolic monument of Rabat, even though it fell short of what was intended: Sultan Yacub Al-Mansur, in the twelfth century, wanted to build the largest mosque in the world with the highest tower so far (86 meters). It is a pity that at his death the work was left unfinished, remaining at the current 44 meters. In addition, the Lisbon earthquake of the 18th century caused serious damage to the monument. Before moving on to the next point, take another good look at it: if it reminds you of the Giralda in Seville, it is no coincidence. Both towers, together with the Koutoubia in Marrakech, are the three great minarets left to us by the Almohads.
Mausoleum of Mohammed V: the current pantheon of the Alaouites
A stone’s throw from the Hassan Tower is the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, which is actually the family pantheon of the Alaouites, as it also houses Hassan II. These two monarchs are the grandfather and father of the current King Mohammed VI, who rest in a recent but beautiful construction with a predominance of white Italian marble.
Old Medina: where Rabat life is bustling
As in other major cities, the capital of Morocco has its own medina, where you can appreciate the daily heartbeat of Rabat life. Although it is not as large as others in the country, its walls are very well preserved, both the Andalusian and Almohad. Inside are the Jewish quarter and the souk where you can find everything, especially traditional crafts.
Ville Nouvelle, a fine example of Arabic Art Deco
What to see in Rabat: Finally, a more recent proposal that also deserves to be part of our list of 5 places to see in Rabat: the New City, where important buildings are concentrated today, such as the seat of Parliament, the Bank of Morocco or the Balima hotel. It is the first area built by the French during their protectorate at the beginning of the 20th century.