Morocco, Rabat – The City of Lights I
You have already had a chance to see Morocco, specifically Rabat, with us. Today, however, we dive deep into this interesting city and escape the winter that prevails with us.
When you hear Legenda about two rivers, you probably think it's from Thousands and One Night Stories. In the area of today's Rabat, many civilizations have traveled and many historical events have taken place that have shaped the shape of today's kingdom.
The first ever documented settlement dates back to the 7th century BC The Phoenicians established a commercial port, which became the first city at the mouth of the Bouregreg River. Around the 5th century, the city was part of the Roman Empire and was known as Chellah.
Once the city came under the control of the Muslims, it witnessed a strong flourish. For the Almoravid dynasty, which ruled from the 10th to the 12th century, the Ribat fort was built above the Bouregreg River. In 1150, the sultan Abd el Moumen had a ribat or fortress where he gathered fighters to conquer Andalusia and the rest of the Maghreb region.
It was only his grandson, Yacoub El Mansour, has decided to establish a city in this place that would match Alexandria with glory. So he built impressive walls and massive defensive doors. The entrance to the city protected five monumental gates. The city named Ribat al Fath, the Victory Camp in English, built to give tribute to fighters who helped the Granadic kingdom to reflect the attacks of Christian troops on the Iberian peninsula.
Rabat boasts seven historic sites that are listed on UNESCO's list. The age of monuments found in the center of the city dates from the Roman times to the 20th century.
The most interesting sights include, for example, the kasba, the 11th century fortress, where troops were detached for fights on the Iberian Peninsula. Inside, you can go to the Andalusian Gardens or to the legendary Moorish café.
Next, we will go to Hassan's tower, which is only a shadow of what it should be, the largest mosque of the world with the highest minaret. The construction was started by Abu Yusuf Yaqub al-Mansur in 1195. However, four years later he died and construction work stopped. The red sandstone minaret was completed only up to 44 meters. Just because the original plan counted 86 meters.
Immediately opposite the minaret, visit the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, which, besides Mohammed V. himself, also holds the remains of his sons. The Arabian-Andalusian building was built between 1961 and 1971.
GPS: (mauzoleum) 34°01'23.0"N 6°49'18.4"W
Text: Maxim Kucer
Photos: Wikipedia.org: Eskarlotey, Steven C. Price, Pline, Matanya, farm1
We travel to the north from Senegal to northwestern part of African continent. Our destination is Morocco, the country which covers around half-a-million square kilometers and where live 33 million people.
Tunisia is not just beaches and all inclusive stays, there are countless amazing places. If you arrive in Tunisia on the mainland, it would be a shame to miss a trip to the Sahara and be able to spend the night in the desert.
Anyone who thinks that the Sahara is just a sandy plain is wrong. I also saw this for myself during my visit to Tunisia. The largest part of the Sahara is rocky, the sandy part is the smaller one. It is good to think about safety and use the services of a professional guide.
In relation to Morocco, everyone will surely recall, besides local colored ceramics, clay architecture, tajines (long swaths) and long caftans, the orange-colored Moroccan part of the Sahara. It is an element so typical for this country that it is almost unbelievable that desert dunes only spread to a small percentage of otherwise vast land. The largest and most famous dune is undoubtedly Erg Chebbi.
If you are going to the desert while traveling across Morocco, do not miss the relatively large provincial town of Tinghir and its annexed Palmeria on your way to Merzouga. It is actually an oasis, the last nice place to live before entering the plains leading into the desert. There are over 40,000 inhabitants in the city, most of whom are Berber ethnic. It is one of the poorest regions in the country and you will probably encounter begging children who are accustomed to regular income from the pockets of tourists while staying in the area.
Imlil is a relatively small mountain village located in the western part of the Atlas Mountains, roughly in the central part of Morocco. In fact, it is not so interesting in itself, but still welcomes thousands of visitors every year. You ask why? This is the place where alpine tourism enthusiasts go to the highest mountain in North Africa, Jebel Toubkal.
If you want to move to a quieter but equally interesting area of Marrakesh for a moment, the coastal city of Essaouira (formerly known as Mogador) is the right choice. Located on the west coast of Morocco, this pleasant city is soaked in the Atlantic Ocean and the way to it is through endless argan fields.
Ourika Valley is about 30 km from Marrakesh, literally on the high Atlas. A river of the same name flows through it, creating a narrow valley between the high mountains and a narrow valley on both banks.
raveling to see movie backdrop is more popular every year, so it's no wonder that the Ouarzazate Moroccan Valley is a sought-after and, most of all, a cheap destination for movie enthusiasts from around the world. Everyone is eager to see and touch the scenery that has played a major role in many series and movies. In the valley you can see real shooting places, such as the historic Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou. Above all, there are large Atlas studios built on the dusty plains of the eastern foothills of the Atlas Mountains.
Undoubtedly, Morocco is one of the most diverse countries, mainly because of its size. The nature of the landscape changes significantly with kilometers traveled, so in a few days in one country you can get from the Atlantic coast through the Atlas Mountains to the vast palms, gorges and also the desert.
Before we go together to explore other Casablanca monuments, we will introduce you to urban culture.
The sun barely rises above the horizon, and Casablanca is awake. Red taxi cabs drive in the streets lined with modern buildings. You feel an incredible amount of energy around you, which, of course, overflows with you. It just lives in Casablanca.
In the previous article on Rabat we told you about the history and architectural heritage of this city. Today we will be interested in local culture.
This time we will head to the north of Tunisia, where we will be greeted by architecture with Moorish elements, friendly inhabitants and, most importantly, infinitely long beaches. But we plan to explore Tunisia a little more than just from a beach chair.
When traveling from Fez, we travel across Meknen plain dubbed the Garden of Morocco. All you can think of grow here – melons, bananas, oranges, lemons, almonds, and grain.
In the second part of Fez, we take a look at the Blue Gate which is green from the other side for it is the color of Islam and blue is the color of Fez. There is a lots of vegetables, nuts, dates, and chickens around.
We spend this day in Marakesh. In the morning, we enter Agdal, gardens founded by the Berber dynasty of Almohad in the 12th century. They constructed here a network of water reservoirs and canals. This is the most advanced water reservoir in Maghreb. Thanks to this reservoir, there is a large olive tree garden around it. We approach the large reservoir filled with water. In the background, we see the High Atlas with its snow caped mountains. High palmas around us only add to this incredible place.
Would you love some romantic adventure? Visit Morocco with beautiful beaches, ancient Atlas mount...