Monday, May 05, 2008



It seems that Rabat's history began in the third century BC with a settlement on the banks of the River Bou Regreg, known as Chellah. In 40 AD, Romans took over Chellah and converted it to the Roman settlement of Sala Colonia. Rome held the colony until 250 AD when they abandoned it to Berber rulers!



"CHELLAH GATE (Outside and inside) - The entrance to the complex, the most ancient human settlement on the mouth of the Bou Regreg River, probably inhabited by Phoenicians and Carthaginians. This main gate was built in 1339"

"SALA COLONIA was referred to as Sala by Ptolemy. Though many of the structures in Chellah were damaged by the 1755 Lisbon earthquaque, there are still many ruined Roman architectural elements, including a forum and a triumphal arch"



"NECROPOLIS - The site of Chellah was abandoned in 1154 AD in favour of nearby Salé. The Almohad dynasty used the ghost town as a necropolis, and some new additions, including a mosque, were made. Nowadays the site has been converted to a garden and tourist venue"



"SALÉ, the twin city to Rabat, across the Bou Regreg to the north, is a highly polluted, badly planned, rapidly expanding «dormitory town». It was apparently colonised by the Phoenicians at approximately the same time of Chellah. Once a self-ruled Republic, Salé played an important part in Moroccan history"



"ROOFS OF RABAT - After Chellah and Salé, the oldest part of the settlements of the Bou Regreg River was the medina of Rabat"


"MOHAMMED V AVENUE - Rabat is also a modern city"


"BANK AL-MAGHRIB - The central bank of Morocco is located in a wonderful building"

"ROYAL PALACE - Right in the heart of Rabat, its building was started in 1864 and it's surrounded by a wall cut by three gates. There is a huge empty space in front of the main door, the Mechouar"

"AHL-FAS MOSQUE - Right across from the Royal Palace, stands a fine example of Islamic architecture: the King's own mosque"

"PORTUGUESE CANNON - It seems that this cannon was left by the Portuguese at the Battle of the Three Kings (Battle of Alcácer Quibir), fought near the town of Ksar-el-Kebir between Tangier and Fez, in northern Morocco, on August 4th, 1578"

"RESIDENCE - A nice place to live..."

"PUBLIC BUILDING - Beautiful hall and wonderful ceiling"


Anonymous said...

Hi there! The second step of this Moroccan trip was still in Rabat; from the old necropolis of Chellah to the new quarters of town, with a view of Salé across the Bou Regreg River! Hope you like it and look forward to seeing your comments!

Oman said...

This is such a wonderful place. Your travel experiences are really awesome and given a chance, I look forward to go to the places you have been to. Thank you for sharing these photos. I feel like I am traveling with you. Great Job and Safe trip sir.

Stella Bella said...

Beautiful photos! The sky is so blue! and the buildings look very nice. I want to check it out there! :)

Olivier said...

superbe promenade au Maroc, je connais la Tunisie, mais pas le Maroc, que je trouve magnifique par tes photos. "CHELLAH" est tres beau, la lumiere et les couleurs.
l' "HASSAN MOSQUE" est vraiment magnifique. On attend la suite de la promenade

Ming the Merciless said...

The last photo of the ceiling is spectacular. The colors and design are just breath taking.

PeterParis said...

After week's absence, I had now the pleasure to see two of your Rabat episodes.

The Islamic architecture and the colours are just fabulous! No wonder a lot of French now buy property down there.

I did not imagine that the famous Lisbon earthquake made such heavy damage so far away.

As usual, a lot of interesting reading, nice photos...!

How was your SA trip?

indicaspecies said...

Hassan tower looks like its made of red sandstone, like some of the Mughal-era monuments of India.

Interesting architecture of the buildings. What a lovely post Gil, this and "First Time in Morocco" both. Intriguing pictures shot so well. Brilliant. Thank you for sharing.

Emilieee said...

The pictures are really sharp and nice! I've enjoyed reading the details of your trips. and well, the Portuguese cannon looked pretty much alike with the cannons in Melaka, Malysia. It's been left by Portuguese since loooong time ago.

Shionge said...

I am amazed at the grandeur and what a charming sight I must say. Wonderful photos Gil :D

Lori said...

Another place I'd love to visit! You have been so lucky to be able to travel so much. I'm envious! I love these shots. The architecture is so beautiful. I like seeing that bid bird in its nest on top of the mosque.

JB's Big and Small Worlds said...

You have a very interesting mom likes it. Great photos.
My mom has only been to Tangier when she took a ferry across the strait of Gibraltar but just for a day trip.

Anonymous said...

As I said Morocco is a beautiful place. Beautiful buildings and blue sky. Amazing architecture.

Are they very conservative by nature ?

Nikon said...

Beautiful series, Gil. I love "The Residence." Quite a place!

Noushy Syah said...

The Arabic architectural remarkably outstanding and nicely captured!

I love those ceilings,wall and the stairs beautifully crafted and lovely.

And the blue sky...obviously beautiful summertime.

Anonymous said...

Hello Gil!
And greetings from the Black Sea.
Very interesting to see your post and
this "residence", I have now so many photos about glorious residencenses, that I don`t know, how I can manage with them :))
I write this in the train now going to home, then I start to sort through my photos.

MedaM said...

Each of your post is great and interesting on its own way. I again literally enjoyed this post of yours as well as the previous one. You really know the way how to show and emphasise all the beauty and everything that is worth to be seen in the cities that you have visited. Your happily face on some photos tells more than thousands words about how much happy you are and how much you enjoy your beautiful travelling. Your photos are great and show how much Rabat is exciting and mystic and full of ancient history and its fantastic architecture from one side and from the other side modern Rabat which is also beautiful and interesting.

Jo's-D-Eyes said...

wonderfull the way you show RABAT here, I cannot really remember but I think we visited RABAT 18 years ago, but I am not sure, Your photo's bring back a lot of memories form our trip (by car) to Marrocco, such a wonderfull country, the building are all so big and its a great architecture over there...

We just returned from Switserland ( that why I did not visit your blog) so look at my nature impressions.. not tooo many building but some I'll show..

Greetings until your/mine next travel-journey ( I love to travel)

( Now in Holland , soon -within a month- in Spain)

Unknown said...

This corner of the world is really fascinating. The past is still present and vivid with wonderful architectural details. I am always impressed by the roman baths. Considering the rudimentary tools they had, they were genius.
Thanks for sharing this beautiful pictures and interesting description behind

Indrani said...

Great post Gil. I will also be doing a fort this week. The pictures of newer parts of the town are stunning.

The egret seemed quite cosy up there;)
(it was a aegret right?)

Nihal said...

I'm drawn to the Public Building with the unusual style and architecture of that time and country. What a building as if hand-embroidered napkins, look at ornamental carvings...
Again and again THANKS Gil, for the 2nd series of a part of the world, Morocco, that I've not yet been.

Dsole said...

Gil, amazing Morocco... Each time I visit your blog I think I should give up my job and start to travel all around the world...
Saludos desde Madrid, buenas noches!

S-V-H said...

Very nice post again, Gil. Morocco is magic for me too.

Wendy said...

That bird's nest is spectacular. Quite the penthouse!

JO said...

Great pics! I love the pic of you at the podium :) You look like you just finished a fatastic speech!

Speeking of fantastic, that birds nest is absolutly AMAZING!

Lakshmi said...

stunning pics and what a history to go with it ..the architecture is quite magnificent..I like the roman baths..Im just back after being tanned in rural India, going to 20 villages where the Hoysala Dynasty have left behind temples.

Anonymous said...

Is that a bird's nest I see? Stunning photos and always a treat to visit you. I am waiting for Casa Blanca. :)

Tawnya Shields said...

Hello Trotter,
I am not sure if I have mentioned this.. but we had a "world cultures" class in our high school. I think they no longer offer this course. For shame.

It was one of my favorite classes. I really enjoy and appreciate the diverse world we live in. Our classwork consisted on choosing a different country each marking period and doing a massive study on it. I was in heaven. We learned so much in that class. I still can name all the countries on most continents. Africa, I still make a few boo boos. I think they should bring this type of class back, so our children can appreciate the world beyond their own countries.

I noticed on the picture of the Chellah site was a very large bird nest! Whoa... what a big nest that is. :O)

Marie-Noyale said...

I am enjoying a mint tea while looking at your pictures...Missing the gazelle horns though!!!
The sunset colors on Chella's gate are absolutely gorgeous!

Missy,Mrs and Mum said...

Just beautiful photos! Its like another world!
Take care and thanks for the comment. Yes we have our tickets and can't wait. Its my 2nd time seeing her, the first was January 2007, there are some pics on my blog.
Hope to hear from you soon, missy

Jules said...

Such a colourful and exotic part of the world.

Oswegan said...

Looks like you have been to some remarkable places.

alicesg said...

Wow the buildings are all so beautifully built and decorated. I guess much money had been spend. I love the eagle with the nest too. Have a nice day trotter.

Daniel Chérouvrier said...

Beau pays.
J'ai passé deux années en Tunisie il y a quelques décennies. Je faisais mon service militaire comme coopérant enseignant dans le sud tunisien à Medenine près de Djerba. Tes photos me rappellent des souvenirs.

Anonymous said...

I love the stork on the chimney, with nest. I used to see those when we lived in Turkey.

NormanTheDoxie said...

SALE is so beautiful....who knew?

Meanwhile MODERN RABAT looks like a cross between Miami Beach and Rodeo Drive.

You should be a history teacher in our school...I'm learning more and more each time I log on to your photo journal.

Still waiting for you to do New York City,

Anonymous said...

Nice visiting your blog after a long time with such lovely photographs of this historical city...I will still be a bit irregular in my blog as of now....have a nice weekend!

Dan said...

Wow, you seem to go everywhere! Your pictures and stories are lovely. Dan is having a wonderful time in Rome and I could kick myself for not tagging along. I envy your travel.

Dalicia said...

thank you for sharing!!! i'm still having my cold. have a nice time in rabat!!!!!

b.c. said...

hi gmg, am sorry i haven't been by in a while especially after seeing these photos. they are awesome--it is so amazing to see ancient places created and inhabited by people now long gone. thanks very much for your continued visits to my chicago daily photos and for your kind and generous comments there. i have been very busy with life and work but visiting your blog and seeing and learning about the places you have been always proves to be thoroughly satisfying.

i hope you have a good weekend!

Chris said...

Lovely shots. I was in Morocco for the first time last fall. . . Tangier, though. Rabat is very interesting. . .probably not as busy as Tangier.

Thanks for understanding about my lack of comments. This rotator cuff stuff is not for babies (which I tend to be!).

Anonymous said...

Hi everybody! Sorry for having taken a bit longer to reply to your comments!

You’re welcome to travel along!

Hope you also catch a nice blue sky in Budapest…

La Tunisie viendra aussi, mais il faut encore attendre quelques mois; la tour Hassan est surprenante, mais la mosquée d’Hassan II à Casablanca, qui est déjà sur place dans le blog, l’est encore plus… ;)

That’s actually an incredible interior of a quite nice building!

Glad to see you back. Loved to see the posts of your Swedish adventure!
The Lisbon earthquake of 1755 was so devastating that some compare with the Indonesian tsunami of 2004…

You’re right; some of the old Rabat monuments are similar to those of the Mughal era!

True; Quibir, Goa, Melaka, the Portuguese always left something behind in the 15th and 16th centuries…

Grandeur it has!

No need to be envious. I give you the itinerary: NYC-Lisbon-Casablanca… ;)
The storks always find the best views!

Glad to see you here; first time I believe! Thanks for your kind comment!
Tangier is slightly different from the rest of Morocco, I was told… but probably the environment is similar… ;)

That blue sky is awesome; don’t forget that the pictures were taken in November…
What do you mean by «conservative by nature»? Politically?

There are some incredible «residences» out there… ;))

Noushy Syah,
Lovely building indeed; but that sky is a November sky… ;))

Glad to see you back here after your Black Sea cruise; how I envy you… ;)) Look forward to seeing the pictures!

Thank you very much for your so kind comment. I’m glad to see that the work I put on these posts gives some pleasure to the visitors! Thanks again!

Amazing that you’re not sure to have been to Rabat… but at the speed you move through countries, no wonder… ;))
Look forward to seeing your pictures from Switzerland, and Holland and Spain… Aren’t you coming to Portugal? Can’t believe… ;))

You’re right about the Roman Baths; everywhere there are ruins, they’re usually awesome!

I think it’s a stork up there; at least is similar to the storks we see in Portugal…

The hand-embroidered interiors of the Islamic art buildings are incredible!
So, the Istanbul Grand Prix was won by a Portuguese speaking driver… ;))

You’re not the only one to think of letting everything and travel around; remember Bruce Chatwin and the «Anatomy of Restlessness”…

Magic, that’s the exact word!

Those storks always get the best spot!

It was supposed to emulate Cicero… for a great speech!
The storks know where to place themselves…

Agree with you; that architecture is magnificent!
Twenty villages in three days, that’s a huge achievement! Look forward to seeing your pictures of the Hoysala trail…

I believe it’s a stork’s nest! Casablanca is already there!

«World cultures»? Like you say, it may help people to realize that there is much more world than just around the corner… Do you still know which country as Ouagadougou as capital? ;))
I believe the nest is from a couple of storks…

Mint tea? Great! No Gazelle Horns? Sorry… ;(
Also love the colours of the Chellah Gate!

Glad to see you here! First time commenting, I believe…
Hope you enjoy that Kylie Minogue concert! BTW, aren’t you coming for the «Rock in Rio» in Lisbon? Great music, it seems… ;))

Oh dear, when you say exotic I always dream of PNG… ;))
(Papua-New Guinea for the non-experts… ;)))

But the pictures are far from being as remarkable as yours… ;))

Alice SG,
Money? That’s an American and German concern… ;))
Don’t think it’s an eagle; probably a stork…

Jeune, service militaire comme enseignant à Djerba… je te vois sur le Club Med toute la journée… ;)))

Stork! I think you’re the first to identify it… ;)

I’ll re-visit that connection between Miami Beach and Rodeo Drive; but don’t think Rabat gets there… ;))

Great to see you here! Wish you all the best in your new occupation!

Dan(’s wife),
That’s the small difference: I go everywhere… (I’m not everywhere… ;)))
Of course, you shouldn’t have allowed Dan to go alone to Rome… ;))

Oh dear I was in Rabat in November 2006; your cold is attacking strongly… ;)
Hope you get rid of it fast!!

Thanks! It’s always a pleasure to land at your Chicago Daily Photo!

So you were in Portugal and then went to Tangier (or just South of Spain and Tangier)?
Hope that shoulder heals soon! I’ve also something to complain: an awful lumbar disc herniated at L5S1… ;((

Jurgen Huibers said...

Beautiful photos again! Casablance looks really great! I hope i can see it some day. Would you be interested in a link exchange with my blog Beautiful Places?

Anonymous said...

Juka 14,
Thanks! I would be delighted to exchange links with such a beautiful blog. Done!

Neva said...

Some very stunning buildings and wealth as well as some are amazing with the amount of time I know this must take to do.....I love the birds nest on top of one of the columns. Thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

Thanks! It actually takes some time (actually at least a few hours on one of the weekend days) and a couple of hours once a week, between ):30 p.m. and 01:00 a.m.... But it's a great pleasure to read visitors' comments and see that they enjoyed!!

Cergie said...

Bonjour Gil,
Quelle surprise de te voir à Rabat où notre fille est née sur les rives du Bouregreg dans une clinique de Salé. Le nid de cigogne que nous avons photographié alors figure sur son faire part de naisance
Nous avons vêcu deux ans là-bas et en gardons souvenir impérissable.

Cergie said...

En ce qui concerne le Golden Gate Park que tu sembles bien connaitre en effet ce n'est pas PARTOUT la jungle, le coin que j'ai photographié est d'un coté de la JFK drive, de l'autre coté est le conservatory of Flower avec des fleurs du désert. C'est ce que j'ai retenu de SF essentiellement : ces contrastes, notamment dans la végétation et cela est dû à un climat très particulier (à la fois brume, fraîcheur, humidité et soleil).

Anonymous said...

Quelle histoire! Je me demande combien de bloggers dans le Daily Photo ont une fille née à Rabat… En plus avec le fameux nid de cigogne… ;))
En ce qui concerne San Francisco, j’ai visité le Park d’abord en 1982 et après en 1996. Mais c’est surtout le jardin japonais qu’a obtenu le plus d’attention dans les blogs Revival… ;).

Joy said...

I loved the photos of the ruins, better than the city. But of course some of the buildings also looked interesting!

By the way, please tell me again when travelled to the Philippines?

Anonymous said...

Chellah is impressive, but the some of the more recent buildings are also a great treat for the eyes... ;)

Was in Manila on August 1999!