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RABAT (Morocco)


Kasbah in Rabat The capital of a modern nation, Rabat symbolises the infinite variety of Morocco. Set in a rich, amber coloured landscape, dotted with distinctive nettle trees, it elegantly combines an ancient history with modern culture.

The Kingdom's capital, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, has roots buried deep in a millenium of history-a city so often coveted by invaders in search of a strategic retreat. Yacoub El Mansour, the Almohad, erected his tents there in the 12th century, before the Merinids left their stamp there in their turn, raising the necropolis of Chellah upon the ancient Roman city of Sala. In the heart of the city stands the Tour Hassan, the last vestige of an unfinished mosque. Behind its marble columns, the Mohammed V Mausoleum engenders solemn respect and serene contemplation.

Built on the banks of the Bou Regreg estuary, Rabat offers its visitors numerous flower-decked walks within earshot of the Ocean. The many fine edifices enclosed within its walls bear ample witness to its proud history as an imperial city. In the maze of streets making up the Ouda´as Kasbah, Islamic art rubs shoulders with the modern city. The result is a glittering mosaic, enchanting passers-by and answering to their every want.Facing the city on the opposite side of the Oued, the superb white medina of SalÚ - Sala Al Jadida - is a treasure - house of fine artwork.

The gardens of Rabat-SalÚ, planted with flora from all corners of the world, are criss-crossed by a labyrinth of pathways and footbridges in a truly exotic setting. Connected to Rabat by a bridge, SalÚ conserves the character of so many small Islamic towns with their shady souks, sun-drenched squares and quiet streets, while its more recently constructed districts make up an economie metropolis of the first order.


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