The capital of Morocco, Rabat sits on the Bou Regreg River and the Atlantic Ocean. Smothered in landmarks denoting its Islamic and French-colonial heritage, the city swarms with people and foreign embassies. Once a Corsair haven, historically the town was one of the many ports of North Africa that the Barbary pirates frequented from the 16th to the 18th centuries. Its economy is based in textile, food processing and construction industries, with a strong tourist market.
Known as one of 4 Imperial cities of Morocco, the medina of Rabat is a World Heritage Site that should not be missed. It will assail every sense you have and some that you didn't know with its overwhelming throb of humanity, aromatic spices on display and stench of garbage, wall-to-wall souks and stalls selling everything and anything. Other landmarks include the Kasbah of the Udayas, an ancient Berber-era royal fort decked out with formal French gardens overlooking the blue ocean of the Atlantic and the iconic Hassan Tower that is a 12th Century minaret soaring high above the ruined mosque. For the historian that loves to ferret, there is the Musee des Oudaias with its beautiful walled garden where the odd tortoise roams, the former palace of Moulay Ismail displaying jewelry and clothing from different Moroccan regions. Also the Archeology Museum is worth taking time out to gaze at artifacts from prehistoric and Roman eras.
If you want to escape the oppressive heat and mass of humanity, then you should head to the ruins of Chellah, an abandoned city mobbed by flying storks and decorated with their huge nests.
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