Morocco’s capital since 1912, Rabat is a modern city of over a million that wears its history on its be-suited sleeves. Amidst its broad avenues, main streets lined with newsagents, shops, cinemas and cafés, a central park and suburban quarters for its ministries and diplomats are many monuments to its past.
The kasbah, in its strategic position on top of the estuary, harks back to the glory days of the twelfth century when the sultan used it as a base for campaigns against the Spanish. Nowadays it’s a celebrated museum of traditional art.
For more remnants of the Merenid dynasty head to the Chellah, a walled necropolis whose wistful ruins make it one of the most moving historical places in Morocco. From the early 17th century it was a Muslim haven after they were driven out of Spain and its heritage reflects this.
The Tower Hassan is unfinished minaret of the great mosque begun by Yacoub al-Mansour and next to it is the Mausoleum of Mohammed V.