Rabat, one of Morocco’s four royal cities, is perhaps the most boring. It doesn’t have the busiest market in Africa like marrakech, or the charm of the ancient city of firth, including the royal charm of menax. Rabat’s advantage, it seems, is the capital. The French built the new Rabat city here in 1912, after Morocco became a “protectorate” of France, but the old serra city, built in the 18th century, still exists today and is an important part of Rabat today.
Rabat is an ancient city named after it in the 10th century AD, which means “fortified inhabitant” or “barracks” in Arabic. In the 18th and 19th centuries, it was the only city on Morocco’s Atlantic coast. In 1956, after the independence of Morocco, Rabat officially became the capital of the country, and naturally became its cultural center, transportation center, economic center and so on.
For many visitors, Rabat is more like a turning point in traffic, with its many attractions but not the attractions of marrakech and fez. It was the last stop of my trip to Morocco, and I spent two days walking along the coast. Finally, I found that there are still many historic sites that reflect Morocco’s long and brilliant ancient civilization, including the royal mausoleum, hassan mosque, royal palace and oudaya fort.
But what impressed me most was not only the seaside cemetery, the Arab bazaar, but also the jewish ghetto, which was surrounded by the ancient wall. Under the gloomy sky, the architectural mottling seemed to express some voice of history. Although new towns were built in France, there are still many historical sites in the new towns. Here, you will find modern art and the ancient Arab traditional architectural art integration.
The streets were narrow and curved, flanked by alternating red and white buildings. After eight or nine days of traveling, I felt all too familiar with the old Arab houses, but I did not feel the least bit tired. In the streets, there are some handicraft workshops, and the way of life and production of the residents remains a strong medieval style.
It was probably an early arrival, and though it was more than nine o ‘clock in the morning, the market was not yet in a state of business. Some shops have just opened, some shops or closed the doors and Windows, the street has been a number of vendors. One of the most common fruits in Morocco is cactus fruit. Whether it’s Rabat or the casablanca, firth, marrakech or schwanshaf I’ve been to, cactus fruit is not only ubiquitous, it’s popular and cheap.
At first glance, it may look like a sewing shop, but on closer inspection it is likely to be a shop that sells or repairs sewing machines. The store was very small, and the owner in a suit was wearing a visor hat. I saw him soon after he opened the door. I watched him for a long time. I snapped this one before he noticed me.
In front of a grocery store, a woman in a long black cotton gown was shopping for groceries. The grocery store has a lot of things, looks a little messy, although there is no morning fireworks, but there is no lack of life. In the face of such scenery, it deeply touched me, it is more enjoyable than going to the beach to see a sunrise and sunset.
Closer to the shop, it was like a mini art gallery and a wet market, with POTS, pottery, woodwork, garlic, dates, spices and other ingredients I didn’t know. They are either in woven bags or woven baskets, a very natural and ecological picture that is visually and psychologically comfortable. Perhaps it is similar to life, the world’s markets have to live, regardless of environment and culture, life always has a comfortable kind of temperature.
Traffic, the sky gradually turned, the market scenery with the time to move slowly rich up. Rabat consists of two adjoining sister cities, Rabat new city and salles old city. The new city is full of western-style buildings and elaborate Arab homes, but in the old city of salles, which is surrounded by red walls, there are many ancient Arab buildings. Among the buildings, the market is prosperous, and there are many small shops hidden in the back streets.
Walking in the market, many alleys on both sides of the street are very beautiful because of simplicity, because of the deep and charming, occasionally pedestrians shuttle between, like a still painting suddenly has a life jump. The familiar horseshoe-shaped arch at the end of the alley is a typical example of traditional Moroccan architecture, especially in Rabat. I loved it from the first moment I saw it and took a lot of pictures about it. After I have collected enough information, I will share its beauty with you.
Casablanca is known as the “white city” because there are so many white buildings in the city, including the old city. But white is still a common colour in Rabat, an ancient imperial city that looks ascetic compared with the colourful scenes of fez and marrakech. It seemed that I could see the arched door at the end of every lane.
This is a very narrow and crowded alley, but I was attracted by the rich colors, and the sudden passing of pedestrians made the picture rich with more things.
As it is not the kind of tourist market where tourists visit, there are very few tourists and therefore the prices here are not high. If there’s enough time, it’s a good place to eat breakfast. The grinning young man runs a fast food restaurant that offers coffee and mint tea. Moroccans are very fond of both.
People read the newspaper and drink tea. Although Morocco is not developed, in many people’s eyes it is a backward country. But in Africa, Morocco is doing very well, and people are living in traditions that incorporate western cultures and customs.
The first people to live in Rabat were berbers. The arabs entered in the 7th century and established the first Arab dynasty in the 8th century. Since the 15th century, western powers have invaded Morocco, which became a French protectorate on March 30, 1912. Therefore, in Rabat, the cultural influence, living habits, including food and language left by westerners can still be seen in the traditional architecture.
Because of the historical relationship, it is completely the product of the deep dialogue between the Arab tradition and the western modernism. In 2012, the city was listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. It contains both modern cities and historic cities, and is a Shared heritage of Morocco and the world.
As they walked, the sun broke through the heavy clouds and fell on the city. Among the ancient heritages, history is capricious, and some date back to the 12th century. If you know much about the medieval history of the north African kingdom, Rabat’s “boring” may be a different kind of fun than just a tourist experience.
So when I rearranged the pictures and looked back at what I had seen in Rabat, I began to miss the “boring” part of it. The capital of Morocco, on the edge of the Atlantic ocean, may only be discovered on closer inspection, in the mottling of history and the vicissitudes of time, it is “interesting”.