The Royal Cities of Morocco - Rabat

Morocco has not 1 but 4 royal cities: Rabat, Meknes, Fes and Marrakesch which all have been the nations capital at one point in time. Each of these cities have 1 or 2 huge royal palaces. The contrast between life in the old medinas and life around the royal palaces is quite apparent. The palace grounds span immense areas and are enclosed within high walls with groups of guards, soldiers and police scattered around their peripheries. We heard of some disgruntlement in the Berber population about the luxury in these cities and the lack of resources for education and health care in the poor villages of the Atlas Mountains, where the majority of locals are analphabetic and death due to lack of appropriate accommodation in winter is a regular occurrence.

The first royal city we saw was Rabat, the current capital of Morocco. The city is very clean with wide, palm lined boulevards and modern buildings. We visited the remains of the Hassan Prayer Hall which like many of the northern Moroccan monuments was destroyed by the tsunami following the Lisbon earthquake in 1755. 

Impressive was the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, the father of the Moroccan independence. Royal guards in their traditional attire stand watch at the 4 entrances to the main chamber.

My favourite place was the Kasbah which lays protected within thick ramparts. It is now a place where the more affluent Moroccans live and behind these walls lay hidden  beautiful gardens and terasses. 

We had our first traditional Moroccan tea served to us sitting on a terasse of the Kasbah overlooking the Atlantic bay below.

© Austin Robinson 2019