The Northern Atlantic Coast Sights

Kasbah des Oudayas

  • 1, bvd. Al Marsa
  • Medina
  • Neighborhood/Street
  • Fodor's Choice

Published 03/09/2017

Fodor's Review

The history of the Kasbah is the early history of Rabat. Built on high ground over the mouth of the Bou Regreg river and the Atlantic, the Kasbah was originally built here for defensive purposes. Still inhabited, it originally comprised the whole of the city, including the castle of Yaqoub al Mansour.

Walk up the steps to the huge, imposing ornamental gate, built, like Bab Rouah, by the Almohads. The gate's interior is now used for art exhibits. Enter the Kasbah and turn right into Rue Jama (Mosque Street). The mosque, which dates from Almohad times (it was built in the mid-12th century), is on the left; it was supposedly reconstructed in the late 18th century by an English Muslim—Ahmed el Inglizi. Continue to the end of the road past a house called Dar Baraka, and you'll emerge onto a large platform overlooking the Bou Regreg estuary. Here you have a magnificent view across the river to the old quarter of Salé, and you can walk down to the water's edge. Go back along Rue

Jama until you come to Rue Bazo on the left; this winds down the Kasbah past picturesque houses. Turn left, walk to the bottom of the street, and proceed down to the banks of the Bou Regreg river to see the beautiful Jardin des Oudayas (Oudayas Garden), a walled retreat that you can explore at your leisure. The garden was laid out in the early 20th century (and is now wheelchair accessible), but its enclosure dates from the beginning of the present Alaouite dynasty in the 17th century.

At the top of the garden, accessible by a bridge across a pool, is the Musée des Oudayas (Oudayas Museum), which holds various objects of traditional Moroccan art. The museum is set in a house built by Moulay Ismail in the traditional style, with rooms arranged around a courtyard. Thanks to fortuitous design, the rooms get sun in winter but not in summer. The two most valuable items are the 12th- or 13th-century Almohad Koran and the medieval astrolabe; other exhibits include Andalusian musical instruments, clothing, jewelry, and pottery from Fez. Leave the garden by the wrought-iron gate at the top and turn left as you come out to exit the Kasbah by the lower gate. You may be approached by a potential guide at the entrance, but you won't really need one.

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Sight Information

Address:

Oudayas Museum, 1, bvd. Al Marsa, Rabat, Rabat-Salé-Zemmour-Zaër, Morocco

Phone:

0537-73–15–37

Sight Details:

  • Kasbah free, museum 10 DH

Published 03/09/2017

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