What to See and do in Morocco’s Capital City
There is enough to see in Rabat to keep a tourist to Morocco busy for days. There are traces of Roman, Phoenician and Grecian settlements, museums and pretty beaches.
Morocco has always been an intriguing place to visit. The North African country has continually been colonized by different powers determined to gain a foothold in North Africa over thousands of years. The country comprises of a rich melting pot of cultures made up of African, Islamic, Arabic, Berber and European backgrounds. Rabat effectively reflects this diversity of culture.
Capital City of Rabat
In the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, Rabat was a notorious pirate stronghold. Pirates plundered thousands of vessels returning to Europe from Asia, West Africa and the Americas. The city was destroyed in 1829 after an Austrian ship was attacked by pirates, following which the Austrian authorities launched an offensive.
Rabat Morocco Industry
Rabat has lost its significance of being a port city because the excessive siltation at the mouth of the river Bou Regreg, which makes it difficult for ships to enter the port. Today, it has become an important center for the textile and food processing industry. It is famous for items such as carpets and handicrafts.
Some places worth seeing in Rabat include:
The Kasbah of the Udayas and the Al-Mahdiyya mosque which was built during the reign of the Almohads. It now houses a palace built by Moulay Ismail, now containing a museum of traditional art. The Andalusian gardens, which were actually planted by the French, are also worth visiting.
The ancient burial place called Chellah or Sala Colonia located on the outskirts of Rabat.
A minaret of an incomplete mosque, known as the Hassan Tower, built during the regime of Yacoub al-Mansour. The construction of the mosque was stopped after the sultan’s death. This enormous minaret was intended to be the largest in the Muslim world.
The Mausoleum containing the tombs of King Mohammed V and his sons; King Hassan II and Prince Abdallah.
The Archaeology Museum, found on Rue al-Brihi close to the Hotel Chella is the best of its kind in Morocco. Pre-Roman and Roman civilizations are particularly well-represented by some of the finest pieces to have survived from those periods. The Islamic archaeology section is constantly growing with finds coming from the excavations of 8th and 9th century sites.
Holidays to Rabat – Safety
Morocco is a relatively safe destination but, although it is liberal because of the many western tourists who come to visit, a certain degree of modesty is expected as this is a Muslim country.
Travelers may be hassled for money by guides who won’t take no for an answer when it comes to offering their services. If this is the case, holiday makers to Rabat need to be firm and walk away if necessary. There are no other real safety concerns.