Soak up the History and Culture of Rissani
Rissani – it looks like a forgotten city at the edge of the unforgiving desert, almost as if it is stuck in an era of powerful dynasties, conquering rulers and warlords. This picturesque city has gained popularity, not only as the Tafilalet capital, but as a destination where visitors can still experience the true mystique of Morocco. Here, tradition and culture is still a way of life, even though Rissani has come a far way from being a major destination for caravans of camels and their owners.
Rissani has a wonderful and legendary history. It was once home to the Alawite dynasty as they took power, as well as Moulay er Rachid. It is a cultural destination in Morocco boasting beautiful examples of early Moroccan architectural styles and noteworthy palaces and temples, such as Ksar Oulad Abdelhalim and Ksar Aber. It is important for those who travel to Morocco to note that some buildings and religious sites do not allow access to non-Muslims, but most of the sites are just as spectacular to view from the outside. The streets are lined with water sellers, and Rissani is best known today as a leather producer. High quality leather is produced by the locals, made from goatskins that are carefully tanned with the use of Tamarisk bark.
There are quite a few recommended attractions, of which the main gate of the city, known as a bab, is one of many spectacular Moroccan structures. Even though their function might differ, all the babs that are located within Rissani are beautifully decorated, with bright colors and lavish designs. Each bab is unique and spectacular in its own way. The entrance to the Moulay Ali Sharif tomb can easily be mistaken for a bab, because of its similar design and construction. Of course, the interior is said to be breathtaking, but this is one of the sites that can only be entered by followers of Islam.
This diverse Moroccan destination is also well known for its market, or souk. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays are the busiest market days, where locals and visitors can be seen shopping for jewelry, souvenirs, gifts, spices, art and crafts. Rissani is very interesting to visit because of its cultural diversity of berber, arab and desert communities, all recognizable and differentiated by their clothing style and colors worn. Visitors are also recommended to try some of the local cuisine, have a relaxing cup of coffee in a café and taste a Sahara Pizza. Rissani promises to be a Moroccan destination that is filled with adventure, flavor, color and unforgettable memories.