KASHBA OF THE OUDAYAS
Rabat surprises wherever you look, and we see how the city is divided... in two? Or…. are there two cities? We have Rabat and Salé, two cities united and separated by history, today the two form a group with more than one and a half million inhabitants, and the two together are called Salé prefecture.
The Kasbah of the Oudayas is a city within a city, we could almost say that it is increasingly distant away from Rabat. If we had to choose just one thing to visit in Rabat, it would be this one!
Built as a fort in the 12th century, under the power of the Almohad dynasty, it was built as a defensive place whose original name was Mehdiya, and it was the kasbah that gave the city its name, the ribat, which practically means fortified convent or monastery, because in this place the soldier-monks who fought in Spain against the Christians were established.
The ribat became “Ribat El Fath“, Victory Ribat or field of victory until its name was simplified as Rabat.
So the birthplace of Rabat is here, in the Oudayas, in the kasbah.
Crossing the magnificent and imposing door of Bab-Al-Oudaïas or Bab El Kébir, you can breathe the Andalusian influence, everything reminds us of Spain, the walls covered in lime, the infinite blue, the streets completely built, robust doors full of colours and , of course, wrought iron.
At the point where the space opens up, right at the mouth of the Bu Regreg River, the view opens up giving us a viewpoint that leaves us speechless, this imposing place, where the Atlantic plays one of the main roles in the scene, where after cross the maze of streets that reveal the strategic position of the city, robust, elevated and with a commanding view.
Porte des Oudayas
25J7+99R, Rabat 10020, Morocco
Everyone knows that Morocco and its gastronomy deserve a section of fun when visiting this incredible country, Sora is known for stimulating the senses through food, its colour can enchant us, its aroma makes us salivate and its mixtures of flavours represent a before and after for the taste buds.
We cannot leave Morocco without tasting the lamb, as it is a fundamental part of gastronomy, history and religion, this dish is usually prepared on the day of Eid al-Adha, known as the day of sacrifice, this day represents the biggest holiday for the Islamic community. The festival commemorates the passing of the Quran where Ibrahim (Abraham in the Bible) prepares to sacrifice his son Ishmael (Isaac in the Bible) as an act of submission. As Ibrahim prepared to sacrifice his son, the angel Gabriel suggested a lamb to be sacrificed. It is a feast to remember his submission to God and also his goodness and mercy.
This successful and at the same time savoury dish has its origins in the cities of Rabat and Salé, the lamb, especially the neck, is cooked with natural honey and spices, such as saffron, cinnamon, cloves and dried rosebuds, it is only served when your sauce has a creamy yet light texture, when your ingredients mix perfectly, and on top, sprinkle fried almonds that add a perfectly matched crunch.
In popular tradition it is said that this dish is prepared on the day of Eid al-Adha and is kept eating on the Day of Ashura, which commemorates the fasting of Moses in gratitude for the liberation of the people of Israel, as the saying goes, "the masal is always the last, although according to the Prophet Muhammad this day must be fasted.
MEDINA OF RABAT, CONSULS STREET.
The Medina district in Rabat´s old town was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2012. The tranquillity of the Medina contrasts with the bustling souks of the tourist spots. Hassan II Avenue divides the new city from the Medina and functions as a transition point between two totally opposite worlds. In the Medina, the atmosphere is Mediterranean with white painted walls and blue shutters.
It is accessed through the two gates Bab El Alou and Bab El Had to the east, next to the 12th-century Almohad walls built by Sultan Yacoub el Mansour. The impressive Almoada wall is 5,263 meters long and runs along the west and south sides of the city, let´s not forget that its gates have also been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
To the west, the Medina is surrounded by the walls of the Kasbah of the Oudayas. This Medina was created by the Andalusian Moors who were expelled from Spain by Felipe III in the 17th century, and luckily it has been preserved almost intact throughout history, in it we enjoy a traditional and authentic atmosphere, you can visit it enjoying traditional life.
In the medina, commerce and crafts merge, we will find numerous shops and working-class inhabitants that add a plus to the daily life of Moroccan, without forgetting that it also represents a historical and symbolic place of Rabat.
Rue des Consuls or Consuls Street takes its name from having been the place of residence of foreign diplomats and is one of the oldest and most famous alleys in the capital, an essential walk in the tourist visits of the capital, here you can find almost everything from the point of view, in addition to diversity for all tastes and pockets.
Rue des Consuls.
MAUSOLEUM OF MOHAMED V.
It is another one of those monuments that it is impossible not to photograph again, in a representation of classical Islamic art in CAPITAL LETTERS! Exactly in the Arab-Andalusian style, it is worth mentioning that the work of the 400 artisans is of meticulous care and indescribable beauty.
The whole place creates a magical atmosphere that will leave us in awe. The Mausoleum of Mohamed V is a royal tomb that is located next to the esplanade of the Hassan Tower, what remains of what was intended to be the largest mosque in the world, and which today leaves us with a magnificent forest of columns that allows us to imagine the power and the grandeur of the 12th century, it also perfectly matches our monument in question, the Mausoleum.
The building is crowned by a green roof reminiscent of the central star of the Moroccan flag and covered in snowy marble, it has a glass dome that contrasts its bluish colours with the gold of the roof carved in mahogany and cedar. The interior can be visited, always from the top, at the bottom there are the sarcophagi of King Mohamed V and those of his two sons, the central one, that of the king, carved in a single piece of white onyx brought from Pakistan and oriented towards the Qibla (direction to Mecca).
King Mohamed V of Morocco was a political leader and a key figure in the development of his country´s history. He was the only child of Abdelaziz Ben Mohamed Ben Yusef Al-Alawi, and was born in the city of Rabat on 6 of November 1912. Mohamed V was crowned in 1927 and ruled the country until his death in 1961. Although Morocco was a country with great dependence on Europe, Mohamed V was a leader whose main objective was the independence of his country.
25FH+3C2, Rabat, Morocco
The necropolis of Chella is located in the district of Rabat known today as Cité Khalifa, approximately 2.5 kilometres southeast of the Medina and 750 meters west of the mouth of the Bou Regreg River. The necropolis complex, which houses the tombs of several generations of Marinid royalty, and the surrounding fortifications were begun by the ruler Abu Sa´id and completed by his successor Abu ´l-Hasan. The funeral complex was built on the site of a Marinid cemetery. The cemetery itself was built on the ruins of the ancient Roman outpost of Sala Colonia, a walled port city founded by the Romans.
Sala Colonia was located on the site of an ancient Phoenician or Carthaginian settlement known as Chella, which dates to the 3rd century BC. The later Marinid necropolis is named after this former port city. The Colony Hall was abandoned by the Romans, but its ruins were occasionally inhabited by several Berber tribes during the following centuries.
The area did not develop beyond its Roman form until the mid-12th century, when Almohad military
leaders formed a camp near the ruins of Sala Colonia to train troops for war against Christian forces in Spain. While Al-Mansur had bold plans to make Rabat the capital of the Almohad empire, Rabat was quickly abandoned after his death when residents migrated to the nearby town of Salé, located nearby on the north bank of the river.
Rabat remained almost completely unpopulated until the early 17th century, and its desert condition during the Marinid rule of the 13th and 14th centuries made it a suitable site for a city of the dead.
Furthermore, the city’s past as a training ground for anti-Christian forces had historical and religious significance for the Marinid rulers as they campaigned against Catholics in Spain.
The Chella Necropolis is located within a larger fortified site, defined by massive perimeter walls six to twenty meters high. The plan of the walled enclosure, derived from the layout of the Roman city of Sala Colonia, is an irregular polygon with five sides that forms a trapezoid with a cut angle. The site ranges from 265 to 310 meters wide along its east-west axis and 180 to 265 meters long along its north-south axis. The longitudinal axis of the site is rotated forty-five degrees counter clockwise from the north-south meridian.
The crenelated walls and towers of Chella´s fortifications were built with the red stone characteristic of the region. Twenty square towers are evenly spaced along the walls. There are three smaller entrances to the interior of the site at points along its perimeter, as well as a monumental main portal located near the north end of the west wall.
The Mellah of Rabat is an old walled district with several entrances. It is a kind of stronghold with its own character in relation to other neighbourhoods due to its lively atmosphere with merchants, street vendors and other activities that are distributed in its streets full of buyers. Without a doubt, it is a great challenge to delve into its charming streets.
The word "Mellah" is the most used to name Jewish neighbourhoods, according to many historians Mellah is related to the word "Mlah", which means "salt" in both Arabic and Hebrew, because many Jews traded in salt. By extension, Mellah designated the place where the salt was kept and therefore the place where the Jews lived.
Mellah was created in 1808 under the reign of Sultan Moulay Slimane, Jews would be forced to live in this neighbourhood on the cliffs; they were previously installed in the neighbourhood of El Beheira, at the top of Consuls Street, where economic activity and commerce were located. At that time, there were around 6,000 Jews in Rabat, all of whom were very influential in the commerce and administration of the port.
Almost all the streets are named after Jews, we have to recognize that Moroccan Judaism, compared to other Arab countries, has always enjoyed a great cultural autonomy granted by most Moroccan sultans, which makes it an exception in Muslim countries.
Later, in the 1950s, Jews are “exiled” forced to return to Israel.
Mellah had a single door, which was closed at night and guarded by a representative of the Sultan.
Go and find out why Moroccan Jews were forced in the 1950s and 1960s to return in masse to Israel, the reasons why Moroccan Jews left their homeland are diverse. However, they all concern concerns about a secure future in independent Morocco.
This country, emerging from colonialism, had a long tradition where Islam was the core of its civilization, immediately posing a problem of incompatibility with the possibility of integrating a Jewish minority into its society.
Rue du Mellah.
ROYAL PALACE OF RABAT.
Rabat is part of the imperial cities, from the oldest to the newest, the four imperial cities of Morocco are: Fez, Marrakech, Rabat and Meknes. Each of these cities was founded by a new dynasty to be
the capital of their kingdom.
In this case, we are in Rabat and one of the essential visits is the Royal Palace, a wonderful architectural ensemble that surprises all visitors, its main entrance opens onto a wide plateau known as "menxuar" which is intended for open-air ceremonies in honour of to the King and which includes, in particular, the Royal Cabinet and the Royal College, where more than two thousand people work and live.
In addition to being the seat of government, the Royal Palace of Rabat currently houses a museum of Moroccan art, to learn more about the craftsmanship of a country full of treasures and history.
Recently built, dating from 1864, it was built on the ruins of the former royal palace, Dar al-Makhzen, and stood proudly in the heart of Rabat. Mohammed VI does not live in the Royal Palace, but has his private residence in Dar Essalam, near Rabat, the same one his grandfather Mohammed V occupied.
Mohammed VI only occupies the Palace for the needs of his position, but like his ancestors he receives his foreign guests in Fez, Meknes, Tangier, Tetouan, Agadir or any of the Royal Palaces in Morocco.
The Royal Palace grounds are no longer accessible to the public for security reasons, only accredited people or groups accompanied by official guides have access.
The Royal Palace of Rabat consists of a mosque, a barracks for the guard, a royal college, a small hippodrome and several government buildings. Although it is currently just an administrative building, its architecture remains a gem of Moroccan culture. The structures are topped with sloping green tile roofs, although trying to give an air of traditional Moroccan houses, this place is surrounded by elegant gardens with large patios.
Cite Universitaire Rabat, Morocco
THE BEACH OF RABAT
A walk along Rabat beach is always a spectacle, the contrast of the city, the walls in the background, the white houses transport us to another time, making our imagination fly and providing us with a unique experience... The Atlantic at our feet will be frozen, no matter the time of year, it will always be frozen, and wash the coast with an endless pace, the golden sand shines with the incombustible sun and again contrasts with the city.
This city bathed by the waters of the Atlantic multiplies the opportunities to relax on the warm sand and offers all kinds of nautical activities, the entire coast is landscaped: the beaches go all the way to Casablanca, the places and the charms vary.
In the heart of the city, Oudayas beach offers a magnificent setting: high on a rock, the fortress faces the sea and dominates the expanse of sand below. Undoubtedly, everything invites you to a relaxed walk.
In addition to the peace and tranquillity with the breeze, there are also several clubs that fill the beach with activity, surfing, kayaking or windsurfing are some of the sports that are practiced here, and that leave us with a summer image regardless of the season.
Along the coast towards Casablanca, the beaches follow each other and they are not the same, they vary in size, suddenly we find them more extensive, or smaller, yes, with their fine golden sand and their high and low tides, they will give you pleasure and freshness.
Whatever, the beaches of Rabat, public or private, or leisure or sports, the coast of Rabat will satisfy all your pretensions!
Located on the Atlantic coast, northwest of Morocco, Rabat is the result of a fruitful dialogue between the Arab-Muslim past and Western modernism. This includes the "new city", designed and built under the French Protectorate from 1912 until the 1930s.
In the Ville Nouvelle de Rabat we have: the royal residence, the colonial administrations, the residential and commercial complexes, the botanical garden, among others, which blend with parts of the city dating back to the 12th century. The “new city” represents one of the largest and most ambitious urban projects of the 20th century in Africa, and probably the most complete. The old parts house the Hassan Mosque (beginning of construction in 1184), as well as the Almohad walls and gates, the only remaining vestiges of a major project for the capital of the Almohad caliphate, there are also vestiges of the 17th century Moorish and Andalusian principality.
Rabat is a clear example of a city designed within the framework of the protectorate, at the beginning of the 20th century. The project achieves the adaptation of the modernist values of urbanism and architecture to the Maghreb context, while being part of the fabric of the old city and its multiple historical and heritage components. The result expresses the appearance of an original architectural and decorative style typical of contemporary Morocco.
Well preserved, the modern city was rationally designed, composed of neighbourhoods and buildings with well-defined functions and significant visual and architectural qualities. The modern city is characterized by the coherence of its public spaces and the implementation of hygienist ideas. The habitat is illustrated by neighbourhoods with a well-established identity: Medina and Cashba, residential and middle-class neighbourhoods of the modern city, and finally the neo-traditional neighbourhood of Habous de Diour Jamaâ.
The city incorporates in its interior a great sum of monumental, architectural and decorative elements of the different previous dynasties. The modern city of Rabat embodies pioneering urban planning, concerned with the preservation of historic monuments and traditional housing. The reappropriation of the past and its influence on 20th century architects and urban planners produced an original and refined urban, architectural and decorative synthesis. The complex offers a heritage shared by several great cultures of human history: ancient, Islamic, Spanish-Maghrebian, European.
Av. Mohamed V
Wellcome to Europamundo Vacations, your in the international site of:
Bienvenido a Europamundo Vacaciones, está usted en el sitio internacional de: