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Sam's Exotic Travels to Rabat, the Pearl of Morocco

Rabat, literally "Fortified Place" is the capital and third largest city of the Kingdom of Morocco with a population of approximately 650,000 (2010). It is also the capital of the Rabat-Salé-Zemmour-Zaer region.

The city is located on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the river Bou Regreg. On the facing shore of the river lies Salé, Rabat's bedroom community. Together with Temara the cities account for a combined metropolitan population of 1.8 million. Silting problems have diminished the Rabat's role as a port; however, Rabat and Salé still maintain important textile, food processing and construction industries. In addition, tourism and the presence of all foreign embassies in Morocco serve to make Rabat one of the most important cities in the country.

 Source: www.wikipedia.org

      Mausoleum of Mohammed V, Rabat Morocco  Buildings of Kasbah des Oudaias, Rabat Morocco  Musician of Kasbah des Oudaias, Rabat Morocco

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  •  City Walls - the Kasbah of the Udayas - In 1146, the Almohad ruler Abd al-Mu'min turned Rabat's ribat into a full scale fortress to use as a launching point for attacks on Spain. In 1170, due to its military importance, Rabat acquired the title Ribatu l-Fath, meaning "stronghold of victory," from which it derives its current name. Yaqub al-Mansur (known as Moulay Yacoub in Morocco), another Almohad Caliph built Rabat's city walls, the Kasbah of the Udayas and began construction on what would have been the world's largest mosque. However, Yaqub died and construction stopped. The ruins of the unfinished mosque, along with the Hassan Tower, still stand today.

  •  Kashbah des Oudaias - Rabat's kashbah was built during the reign of the Almohads. When the Almohads had captured Rabat and destroyed the kasbah of the Almoravids in the town, they began reconstructing it in AH 544 / AD 1150. They added a palace and a mosque and named it al-Mahdiyya, after their ancestor al-Mahdi Ibn Tumart. After the death of Yaqub al-Mansur (AH 595 / AD 1199) the kasbah was deserted.The Almohads brought significant changes to the Rabat area, including the destruction and rebuilding of the Kasbah of the Udayas and turning Chellah into a royal necropolis. This site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on July 20th, 2006 in the Cultural category

  •  Mauseleum of Mohammed V and Hassa Tower - The Mausoleum of Mohammed V contains the tombs of the Moroccan king and his two sons, late King Hassan II and Prince Abdallah. The building is considered a masterpiece of modern Alaouite dynasty architecture, with its white silhouette, topped by a typical green tiled roof. Its construction was completed in 1971. Hassan II was buried there following his death in 1999.

    Hassan Tower Hassan Tower or Tour Hassan is the minaret of an incomplete mosque in Rabat, Morocco. Begun in 1195 AD, the tower was intended to be the largest minaret in the world along with the mosque, also intended to be the world's largest. In 1199, Sultan Yacoub al-Mansour died and construction on the mosque stopped. The tower only reached 44 m (140 ft), about half of its intended 86 m (260 ft) height. The rest of the mosque was also left incomplete, with only the beginnings of several walls and 200 columns being constructed. The tower, made of red sandstone, along with the remains of the mosque and the modern Mausoleum of Mohammed V, forms an important historical and tourist complex in Rabat.

  •  Necropolis of Chellah - The necropolis of Chellah, Chella or Sala Colonia is a necropolis and complex of ancient and medieval ruins which lie at the outskirts of Rabat. On this site the ancient Romans set up the outpost of Sala Colonia, which became a thriving city with several monuments. In the 13th century the Merinid sultan Abu al Hassan built a necropolis on top of the Roman site and surrounded it with defensive walls. Many of the structures in Chellah were damaged or destroyed in an 18th century earthquake.

  •  Street Scenes - My impressions of Rabat, the pearl of Morocco

  •  People of Rabat - the wonderful people of Rabat

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Please note that all photographs and text appearing on this site are the exclusive intellectual property of Sam Stearman. No images are within the Public Domain, and no image use is permitted without the written prior authorization of the copyright owner.  If you see any pictures you would like to buy, all the thousands of pictures on this site are available in high resolution digital format, suitable for framing, use in magazines or advertising.  Email me if you would like to know more.