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Inside the stunning Kasbah of Oudaya in Rabat, Morocco

The Oudaya Kasbah is a former fortified military camp, built in the 12th century. It served as a military base for the Moroccan armies setting out to conquer Andalusia, led by the Almohad dynasty, notably the sultans Abdelmoumen and Yacoub El Mansour. The formidable main door of the Kasbah dates from this period.

The Kasbah was probably built on an ancient Roman site, the Ksar of the Benitargas. The Kasbah will continue to be the military and civil center of Rabat, and in particular when it begins to welcome Andalusians expelled from Spain (the Moricos) in the 16th and especially 17th century. From the 18th century, it was essentially a haunt of corsairs, who came to sell their captives a stone's throw away, at the El Ghazal souk. The Kasbah, formerly called Ribat Al Fath, the victory camp, takes its current name under the reign of Sultan Moulay Abderrahmane, in honor of the Guich tribe of Oudayas, from the Sahara.

Today, the Kasbah is a charming little village, with houses brushed with blue lime. located on top of a cliff overlooking the place where the Bouregreg river and the Atlantic ocean meet. The view from the fortified Kasbah is stunning and it is a great place to enjoy the sunset from. In the shade of the walls, you can see the neighboring town of Sale with the marine cemetery and the marabout of Sidi Ben Acher a little further. Take the opportunity to stroll through the gardens, fresh all year round and landmarks for lovers. Arranged in Andalusian style, they were created in 1920 by Tranchant de Lunel, Lyautey's favorite architect.

After entering the kasbah through one of the massive doors serving as grandiose guardians of the place, let yourself be captivated by the small blue alleys, the surprising silence contrasting with the frenzy of the modern city center, and the reigning tranquility in the place.