Old medina fortified wall in Rabat - Photo: Robbie Hamper
Old medina fortified wall in Rabat – Photo: Robbie Hamper

The diversity of Morocco makes it a fantastic place to visit because you can have so many kinds of destination experiences in one trip. Your visit to this magnificent country would not be complete without a stop to the capital city of Rabat. It has an eclectic mix of ancient and modern architecture and it is the heart of Moroccan royalty.

Rabat is the home of the Royal Palace built in the late 18th century. The palace is where all government dealings take place and it is also the home of King Mohamed VI. It is a large complex with government offices, stables and a mosque all in one area that is closed to visitors.

My parents, Don and Robbie Hamper are traveling through all areas of Morocco for an insider’s view of the best ways to visit the various regions of the country. They bring this guest blog post and photos from Rabat:

Blue and white alleyways - photo: Robbie Hamper
Blue and white alleyways – photo: Robbie Hamper

 

 

Today, we traveled from Fes and stopped for lunch in Rabat. The king lives here but has houses in other cities. The people love him as he has made some very positives changes for Morocco. He is married to a beautiful lady and they have two children.

Rabat is famous for the Oudaia Kasbah district on the banks of the Oued Bou Regreg. The Oudaia Kasbah is Morocco’s first official monument and named after the Arab tribe that settled on the Atlantic coast in the 17th century. This particular kasbah is unique in that it is not just a fortress, but a fortified town.

Outside Andalusian Garden - photo: Robbie Hamper
Outside Andalusian Garden – photo: Robbie Hamper

Andalusian is the town within the kasbah walls. We entered through a huge imposing gatehouse built in the 12th century that is surrounded by two large defensive towers. Once inside, narrow residential streets are framed by lime-washed buildings in shades of iridescent blues and whites that open into jaw-dropping courtyards. We see traditional Islamic architecture everywhere. Also within the walls of the kasbah is the beautiful public Andalusian Garden.

We stopped for lunch at a huge old house. They all have high ceilings with a large open areas that encompass most of the downstairs. More than 100 years ago it was custom for camel caravans to stop here on their way through. With housing on the second floor and stalls for the animals below, this efficient design worked well. The warmth from the animals helped to heat the upstairs. While Morocco is very hot during the day, it gets rather chilly in the evenings and early morning hours.

Rabat is a fantastic fusion of old and new!