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Visit Rabat - Capital of Morocco
As the capital of Morocco, Rabat is the primary home of King Hassan II, who maintains palaces in all the Imperial Cities. Founded in the 12th century and once known as the Camp of Victory, Rabat today is essentially a modern city of gardens and monumental gateways.

Quadias Casbah: This Casbah, surrounded by a wall with bastions, is reached by a splendid gateway constructed in the reign of Yacoub El Mansour (1185-99). The gate leads to the inner garden, designed in 1915 and richly planted with orange trees. Bougainvillea drapes the walls, and storks find places for their nests on the battlements.

Museum of Oudaia: Installed in the gardens of the Casbah is this small palace built in the 17th century. Various Rabat carpets are exhibited in the old oratory chamber. After seeing them, you pass into a patio with a pond. Moroccan musical instruments are displayed in the loggia. One salon is devoted to jewelry. Decorated in the traditional Moroccan style, another salon is complete with brocaded divans, a finely chiseled copper incense burner, as well as sculptured chests and embroidered cushions. The section devoted to costumes is the most interesting. Daily except Tu. 10-3.

Tower of Hassan: This 144 foot tower rises over the ruins of a large mosque and was originally its minaret. The minaret was built to rival the Giralda in Seville. Construction began in 1184 by Yacoub El Mansour who wanted a mosque large enough to shelter his entire army. Work stopped upton his death. During its lifetime, this mosque has been used as a quarry for building materials. Finally, the 1755 earthquake that struck Lisbon did further damage. Today a ramp climbs to the pinnacle, from which you can look out over the rooftops of the city of sale. At the eastern end of the grounds is the constantly guarded memorial and mausoleum of Mohammed V. He was the father of Hassan II.

The Medina: So many Muslims driven from Spain settled here that this old section looks similar to an Andalusian town. The Old Town was built between the 17th century Andalusain Wall and the Almohad Walls of the 12th century. Here, life holds forth in souk (shop) after souk. This Medina is mainly for strolling and shopping.

Mellah: The houses and shops of the Jewish quarter.

Mechouar: The enclosure that contains the Royal Palace where King Hassan II and his family live. Nearby are the barracks of the "Black Guard", descendants of West African slaves.

Museum of Antiquities: The main entrance and first floor contain many displays of Roman life and crafts of ancient Morocco, as well as artifacts from Prehistoric periods. Daily except Tu 8:30-noon, 2:30-6.

Chellah: Located outside the city walls, this was the last Roman city to go up on the Atlantic coast. It lies in ruins today. Once non-Muslims weren't allowed through the gateway, but in this more democratic day they can pass. The gateway, richly decorated, was begun in 1310. Inside the walls you can see the marble tombs of the former sultan and an inner courtyard of a sanctuary, as well as a mosaic-decorated minaret crowned by a stork's nest, The remains of a Roman bath and two ancient villas have been discovered. The rest of the former necropolis is planted with gardens, and a path leads down to a spring,
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Author of this article is Gene Gill. For more information visit his website: Gene Gill Miniatures.
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