Rabat Morocco – A Perfect Combination of Old and New
Rabat is not only the capital of Morocco, but is also rated as “the best” Moroccan city by many travelers.
Far smaller than Casablanca, and not as culturally diverse as Marrakech, Rabat is none-the-less a hit with
Europeans and other visitors the world over; thanks to the city’s seamless mix of old and new.
Rabat has acted as a turn-style over the millennium, as a who’s who of invaders has breached the city walls
since the 12th century in search of a strategic retreat. Yacoub El Mansour, the Almohad, erected his tents.
Later the Merinids left their stamp when they raised the necropolis of Chellah upon the ancient Roman city of
Sala. In the heart of the city stands the Tour Hassan, the last remains of an unfinished mosque. Behind its marble
columns, the Mohammed V Mausoleum calls out for solemn respect and peaceful contemplation.
Built on the banks of the Bou Regreg estuary, Rabat spreads its arms to visitors with a variety of flower-decked
promenades all within earshot of the Ocean. There remain many buildings from Rabat’s golden age that bear ample
witness to its proud history as an imperial city. Meanwhile in the maze of streets making up the Oudaïas Kasbah,
Islamic art rubs shoulders with the modern city of today. The result is a glittering mosaic, enticing passers-by
and daring them to come to play the game of buy and barter. Facing the city on the opposite side of the Oued, the
stunning white medina of Salé – Sala Al Jadida – is a treasure-trove of intricate works of art.
The garden of Rabat-Salé, planted and adorned with flowers from all corners of the world, creates a labyrinth of
pathways and footbridges in a truly exotic setting. Connected to Rabat by a bridge, Salé typifies the character of
many small Islamic towns with its bustling markets, sun-drenched squares and quiet streets, while it’s more recently
constructed offerings of international shops and restaurants attest to the fact that Rabat’s feet are firmly planted
in the future.