Rabat , Modern Capital and Historic city

Rabat, the capital of the Kingdom of Morocco, constitutes an urban and architectural ensemble bearing full and balanced testimony to the different construction phases that reflect the history of its settlement. The ensemble was made possible by the “Ville Nouvelle” (New Town) project in the early 20th century, during the Protectorate period, when Rabat regained its capital city status, and when care and respect were shown for the various layers of the city’s heritage. The new city made use of the existing urban structure, and drew inspiration from the architecture left by the earlier Cherifian dynasties, whilst fully embodying new European urban and architectural values. The result is a city in which the Arabo-Muslim past and Western modernism engage in a fertile and original dialogue.

Rabat was built on Challah ruins whose history may be traced back to the VIIIth century. By the end of the Xth century, the Zenetes, a Berber tribe, made of it a place for their military barracks. Casbah of Oudayas is now what remains of that military site. In the XIIth century, the city bacame the capital city of Almohades and Yacoub EL MANSOUR gave it the name of "Ribat El Fath" (Victory Fortress). Rabat owes its beautiful architecture and wonderful old buildings to Yacoub EL MANSOUR. A six kilometre-long-wall with five big gates, Hassan Mosque, which had it been completed, it could have been one of the biggest mosques in the Arab world at that time, and the great old gate of Oudayas Casbah are some intersting historical sites which are really worth visiting. Andalousians, Arabs who were chased off Spain, came and settled in Rabat.

In 1666 and under the reign of Moulay Rachid, the city got prosperous. He built more walls to protect it and finished building the Casbah and the port.

In 1912, Rabat has become the capital city of the Kingdom; offices, universities and embassies with their modern architecture draw a contrast with old walls and towers.

Mohammed V mausoleum, a typical sample of Moroccan architecture


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