Africa > North Africa > Morocco > Rabat is the Capital of Morocco

Morocco: Rabat is the Capital of Morocco

2012/12/05

Rabat , is the capital and third major city of the Kingdom of Morocco with a people of approximately 650,000 (2010). It is as well the capital of the Rabat-Salé-Zemmour-Zaer region.


The city is located on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the river Bou Regreg. On the facing shore of the river lies Salé, the city's major commuter town. Together with Temara the cities account for a combined metropolitan people of 1.8 million. Silting problems have diminished the Rabat's role as a port; nevertheless, Rabat and Salé still maintain significant textile, food processing and construction industries. In addition, tourism and the presence of all foreign embassies in Morocco serve to make Rabat one of the majority significant cities in the country.


Rabat is accessible by train through the ONCF system and by plane through the nearby Rabat-Salé Airport.

Rabat has a relatively modern history compared to the ancient city of Salé. In 1146, the Almohad ruler Abd al-Mu'min turned Rabat's ribat into a full scale fortress to use as a launching point for attacks on Spain. In 1170, due to its military importance, Rabat acquired the title Ribatu l-Fath, meaning "stronghold of victory," from which it derives its current name.

Yaqub al-Mansur (known as Moulay Yacoub in Morocco), an extra Almohad Caliph, moved the capital of his empire to Rabat.[4] He built Rabat's city walls, the Kasbah of the Udayas and began construction on what would have been the world's major mosque. However, Yaqub died and construction stopped. The ruins of the unfinished mosque, along with the Hassan Tower, still stand today.

Yaqub's death initiated a period of decline. The Almohad empire lost control of its possessions in Spain and much of its African territory, from presently on leading to its total collapse. In the 13th century, much of Rabat's economic power shifted to Fez. In 1515 a Moorish explorer, El Wassan, reported that Rabat had declined so much that only 100 inhabited houses remained. An influx of Moriscos, who had been expelled from Spain, in the early 17th century helped boost Rabat's increase.

Neighborhoods of Rabat

Rabat is an administrative city. It does not have a lot of shopping districts, but a lot of residential neighborhoods. The geographically spread out neighborhoods are as follows:

The heart of the city consists of three parts: the Medina (old town); the Oudayas and Hassan; both located to meet the Bou Regreg; and the Atlantic Ocean.

To the west, and along the waterfront, there is a succession of neighborhoods: Initial, around the ramparts, the old quarters of the ocean and orange (popular and middle class). Beyond that, a succession of mostly popular neighborhoods: Diour Jamaa; Akkari; Yacoub El Mansour; Massira and Hay el Fath are the major parts of this axis. Hay el Fath, which ends this sequence, evolves into a middle-class neighborhood.

To the east, along the Bouregreg, the Youssoufia region: Mabella; Taqaddoum; Hay Nahda; Aviation; and Rommani (working and middle classes).

Between these two axes, going from north to south, there are 3 major areas (middle class to very wealthy): Agdal (Ward Building lively mixing residential and commercial functions, predominantly habitants are upper middle class); Hay Riad (affluent villas which has been a surge of momentum since the 2000s); and Souissi (residential neighborhood).

On the outskirts of Souissi, as one goes further we get into less dense regions mainly constituted of large private houses to areas that seem out of the city

Bouregreg Marina

Located between the Atlantic and the Bouregreg Valley, this magnificent river marina is paved with famous historical sites like the esplanade of the Hassan Tower and the picturesque Chellah necropolis which has witnessed a lot of Mediterranean civilizations pass by.

Outfitted with the majority modern equipment to host up to 240 boats, the Bouregreg Marina aims to become an essential destination for recreational boaters seeking long stays, or just an unforgettable stopover on their way to West Africa, the Caribbean or the shores of North America.

Families of Rabat

Called Rbatis, these families have lived for additional than four hundred years a lot of events in common. From the expulsion of the Moriscos to arrive at the foundation of a culture that combines the Arabic and Andalusian cultures, through the Republic of Bouregreg events than other families coming to live in Rabat recently, have not known.

Since its founding, Rabat was inhabited by several families from the High Atlas with Abu Yusuf Yaqub al-Mansur, who founded the city in 1198, again families from a lot of parts of Morocco have settled. Rabat has around 1240 a few hundred fifty families whose families Chiadmi, Regragui, Loudiyi, etc.

Since the end of the thirteenth century, the city has had an influx of Moriscos expelled from Granada until 1609, the year of total expulsion of Muslims from Spain by Philip III. These families include: Bagach (Vargas); Guedira (Gadaira); Mouline (Molina); Sebbata (Zapata); and Frej.

The said families are considered, until today, as "Rbati's Families of strain". They are about four hundred families.

Other families in the city are considered residents of Rabat because they came at the time at the same time as Rabat became the capital of the country, either through rural exodus or to work in public government based in the city since the establishment of the protectorate.

Culture

The biggest place for theatre is the Theatre Mohamed V in the centre of the town. The city as well has a few official galleries and an archeological museum. A lot of organizations are active in cultural and social issues. Orient-Occident Foundation and ONA Foundation are the biggest of these. An independent art scene is active in the city. L'appartement 22, which is the initial independent space for visual arts created by Abdellah Karroum, opened in 2002 and introducing both international and local artists. Other independent spaces opened few years next, such as Le Cube, as well set up in a private space. Rabat was selected as a filming location for the war film Black Hawk Down (2001).

Air Rabat-Salé Airport.

Rabat's major airport is Rabat-Salé Airport, Morocco's busiest airport. Regular domestic flights serve Marrakech, Casablanca, Agadir, Oujda, and Tangier, Laayoune inclunding other cities.

Trains

Rabat is served by two principal railway stations run by the national rail service, the ONCF. Rabat-Agdal is the major inter-city station, from which trains run south to Marrakech or El Jadida and north to Tanger, and again on either to Meknes, Fes, Taza and Oujda

Tram Rabat-Salé tramway

Rabat, located on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the river Bou Regreg is the fifth largest city of Morocco and the country’s capital. It is home to a population of about 1.7 million people. There are various means of transport available in the city of Rabat including;

Special hire taxis

The special hire taxis consist of blue-colored petit cars that take up to 3 passengers. They are the most prevalent taxi service in Rabat. These taxis have the right to operate in the restricted area of the capital.

Shared taxis

These are commonly referred to as Grands Taxis and can take up to 6 people. They start from the coach terminal and some have specific routes. The taxis have signs on their roofs and a seal painted on the front passenger doors so don’t get in one if it doesn’t have these features.

Buses

Rabat has 2 principal bus stations; both located about 5 km south of the main City Center Road that leads towards the neighboring city of Casablanca. The buses traverse through most of Rabat’s arterial points like Centre Ville, Cathedral and Avenue Fal Oueld Omair. The fare charged on most buses is very economical but the busses lack a systematic method of adhering to routes and timing. A city bus service is also run by the central public bus service authority, Veolia Transport. The buses are of marginally better quality and the routes and bus numbers are clearly displayed on the buses.
Train

Rabat Ville train station is found in the centre of Rabat. From here trains run to Casa-Port train stations, Fès via Meknès, Tangier and Marrakesh.

Air

Rabat–Salé Airport is an international airport sitauted about 10 kilometres northeast of Rabat. It only has direct flights to Paris with Royal Air Maroc and Air France. It is a joint use public and military airport, also known as the First Royal Air Force Base.

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