GREAT IMPERIAL CITIES STEEPED IN CULTURE & HERITAGEThe great Imperial Cities of Rabat, Fez and Meknes have you stepping back in time. Each city is steeped in culture and heritage, but also offers an abundance of outstanding restaurants and interesting nightlife. Both Fez and Meknes are now recognised as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Rabat is located in the north-west of Morocco on the Atlantic coast and is the country’s capital. Over 2 million people live in Rabat, making it the country’s second largest city after Casablanca. Rabat is where the government is located, as well as the King of Morocco, but it’s not the commercial capital, which is Casablanca. Rabat has a rich history but is a fairly new capital, the French gave it this status in 1912 and it remained the capital, as per the King’s wishes, after independence in 1956. Rabat is a very pleasant capital, and not as congested as some other Moroccan cities. As with many Moroccan cities, it’s divided into the old Medina city and the new city. Arabic and French are the most common languages you’ll hear on the streets of Rabat. The city has a number of large-scale developments, including a revamped riverside promenade and a new tramway system.
Meknes was founded in the 11th century as a military settlement, and is a impressive city in Spanish-Moorish style, surrounded by high walls with great doors, where the harmonious blending of the Islamic and European styles of the 17th century Maghreb are still evident today.
Fez was founded in the 9th century and is home to the oldest university in the world. The urban fabric and the principal monuments in the Medina – madrasas, fondouks, palaces, residences, mosques and fountains – date from this period. Although the political capital of Morocco was transferred to Rabat in 1912, Fez has retained its status as the country’s cultural and spiritual centre.
Speak to any of the team at Inspirational Travel about holidays or honeymoons to Morocco. Call 01778 382764