10 Top Architectural Landmarks in Rabat

The buildings in Rabats Kasbah of the Udayas are painted blue
The buildings in Rabat's Kasbah of the Udayas are painted blue | © C_KI / Pixabay

Here are the architectural landmarks you cannot miss in Rabat.

1. Tour Hassan

Archaeological site

1024px-Rabat_Tour_Hassan
© Remi Jouan / WikiCommons

Started by the Almohads, Hassan Tower was intended to be the minaret for what the ruler, Yaqoub al-Mansour, wanted to be a majestic mosque. The beautiful and intricate designs on the tower, as well as the open and intriguing surroundings, make it a must-see. Just opposite lies a beautiful tomb of King Mohammad V and his two sons. Visitors will be entranced by the gold-leaf ceiling and captivating carvings that lie inside the plain white building.

2. Abul Hassan Medersa

School

Medersa el-Attarine, Fez
© Singa Hitam / Flickr

This impressive building was built between 1333 and 1341 under the Marīnid Dynasty and was created to teach young boys about religion and science. The hand-carved ceilings and mosaics on the walls speak to the great artistry of the period. This school is a miniature of the amazing Medersa Bou Inania in Fez. The entrance fee is 10 MAD (£0.76).

3. Chellah

Cemetery

1024px-Chellah_Rabat
© İhsan Deniz Kılıçoğlu / Wikimedia Commons
Built by the Phoenicians, Chellah is a medieval-fortified Muslim cemetery. It later became the site of the ancient Roman colony of ‘Sala Colonia’ in the Roman province of Mauretania Tingitana. Visit these tombs, go back in time and climb up to see some of the best views.

5. Royal Mausoleum of Mohamed V

Archaeological site

1024px-Mausoleum_of_Mohammed_V_Rabat_Morocco
© Jorge Lascar / WikiCommons
Located on the other side of the Hassan Tower, this mausoleum contains the tombs of the king’s father and grandfather. It is considered a masterpiece of modern architecture in Morocco with its white silhouette topped by a typical green-tiled roof.

6. Kasbah of the Oudayas

Archaeological site

Rabat Kasbah © C_KI/Pixabay
© C_KI / Pixabay
Step inside the high, sandy-coloured walls of the old citadel of the Kasbah of the Oudayas in Rabat and take a stroll through the narrow residential streets. Many homes are painted white and blue and Spanish influences are apparent. There are pretty Andalusian gardens to admire within the fortress complex, as well as the imposing ornamental gate of Bab Oudaya.

7. The Andalusian Gardens

Ruins

Morocco-20_(2218997326)
© Dennis Jarvis / WikiCommons
This stunning garden is located within the Kasbah les Oudaias, and it has gorgeous flowers, trees and fountains. It has an Andalusian feel to it and is reminiscent of Granada’s Alhambra. Although it was built by a French architect in the 20th century, it looks like it’s been there for a couple hundreds of years due to its ‘abandoned state’.

8. Cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Rabat

Cathedral

Rabat_centre_ville
© Pitchoon76 / WikiCommons

This Catholic cathedral was built during the French protectorate in 1919 and was finished in 1921. Its architecture is a style from the 1930s that remains intact, just like many of the houses in that neighbourhood, which are now considered to be a cultural heritage. It’s still in use and open to the public.

9. The Royal Palace

Archaeological site

Royal_Palace,_Rabat
© Bernard Gagnon / WikiCommons
Although tourists aren’t permitted inside, the royal palace is an amazing location to shoot pictures and see authentic Moroccan architecture. The gates are gigantic, exceptional, zellij-decorated doors that are guarded by soldiers.

10. Medina

Market

Essaouira
© Patrick Nouhailler / Flickr
All the cities in Morocco have Medinas, so, why would the one in Rabat be more interesting than others? It is a little bit less chaotic than the usual Medinas and people can shop peacefully. From hand-made jewellery to rugs, it is a pleasant experience to be able to walk in a Medina without having people trying to sell unnecessary things. Remember, haggling is a must.
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