There is blue everywhere. The intense blue of the sky and the sea. And, nestling within the protection of the ochre-colored ramparts, a gleaming white city and a minaret (tower) that reaches up to touch the clouds: this is Rabat, the capital of Morocco. Rabat has a long history as a capital city. In the XIIth century, Yacoub el-Mansour, the great Almohades conqueror chose it to be the symbol of his splendor.
But history had already been made at Rabat. The Marinades (XIIIth and XIVth century) honored the city by making it the site of the Chellah necropolis, building on the ruins of the ancient Roman town of Sale.
History has left its mark upon Rabat, and Rabat honors those who made it. As Yacoub el-Mansour is honored with the Hassan tower, dominating what should have been one of the greatest mosques in the Muslim world, or the mausoleum of the late King Mohammed V, architect of Moroccan independence in 1956 and the imposing Royal Palace, residence of the king and seat of the government since 1912.
THE KASBAH OF THE OUDAYA
History stops in Rabat and does not leave. It appears on the corner of an alley, in a stall of oriental slippers and poufs fragrant with the scent of leather, in a carpet auction. It impregnates every stone of the Oudaya Kasbah, fortress of indomitable Andalous Corsairs of XVII century. Nothing is more pleasurable than imagining their exciting lives, delightfully installed at the Moorish coffee, savoring gazelle horns (Moroccan cake) with a mint tea, looking at the boats which dance in the Bou Regreg river at the bottom of the Sale city ramparts.
THE KING MOHAMMED V MAUSOLEUM
Here, everything is luxury and sophistication. The traditional Moroccan art is put on exhibit : under a gilt cupola made of mahogany and Lebanon cedar, arises the Royal sarcophagus of Pakistani white onyx (marble).
THE NECROPOLIS OF CHELLAH
Situated on the site of the ancient city of Sale, the Necropolis is located 2 km from the city center. Passing through the lovely door, you will discover a site overtaken by an exuberant vegetation.
You can distinguish tombs and a stone basin where there are fish and sacred turtles.
It was fed by a miraculous source where, according to legend, a golden fish lived. Further on, a minaret has partly maintained its multicolored decor.
It is occupied now by storks.