Rabat, Modern Capital and Historic City: a Shared Heritage

by Jorge Sanchez - 1 year, 3 months ago

In Casablanca I boarded a train and one hour later I arrived to Rabat, the capital of Morocco. I had a full day time before getting further northwards in direction to Spain. I located the tourist office and gave me advise about the best places to visit during one day. One day is very short time for Rabat, a city with much history and beauty, from the roman necropolis of Chellah, at only 2 kilometres distance, to the stunning old mosques, plus the exotic market (zouk) and 1001 more wonders. In view of so many highlights, I immediately disregarded to have a look at the new town built during the XX century, including the palace of the present king plus the catholic cathedral; I would only concentrate in the historical part of Rabat, the one that was declared a UNESCO Patrimony of the Humankind, with fortresses, palaces, the mausoleum of Mohammed V located next door to the Hassan Tower (an incomplete minaret that was destined to be the highest in the muslim world), plus the beautiful kasbah of the Udayas with the walls of the houses painted in blue, all surrounded by the river Bou Regreg. First I headed on foot to the zouk, very exotic, as most of the zouks in Morocco. When I crossed it I already sighted the Kasbah. At the entry gate many guides wanted to show me around for some baksheesh, but I always refused preferring to discover the place by myself. In that fabulous kasbah I spent most of the morning time. Then I went to the river and from there I entered the complex that included the Mausoleum of Mohammed V plus the Hassan minaret. There were royal guards mounted on horses at the entrance to the mausoleum. Place after place, I managed to visit all systematically. At the end of the day I still had time to revisit some other places that I still remembered from a previous trip to Rabat in my younger years, about 40 years before. It had been a very busy but enriching day!  

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