Sunday, October 16 1:00-5:00pm
Cultural Tour of Rabat
The Royal Palace (Dâr-al-Makhzen)
Built in 1864 by Sultan Muhammad IV, the Royal Palace lies in the heart of Rabat. Walls surround the sprawling building, as it is the official residence of the King of Morocco.
Hassan Tower (La Tour Hassan)
Towering more than 40 meters high, the Hassan Tower is an iconic symbol of Rabat. Situated in the northeastern corner of the city, it is considered a masterpiece of traditional Moroccan art. Construction began in 1195 during the Almohad Dynasty. It was built as part of a larger mosque which was intended to be the largest in the world. However, when the sultan passed away work on the project came to an end, leaving the mosque unfinished, and its minaret—the tower—standing half as high as it was originally intended. In 1755, an earthquake further destroyed the incomplete mosque. Today you can still see the surviving, sandstone Hassan Tower, along with the mosque’s remains such as the impressive columns and walls.
Mausoleum of Mohammed V
Across from the Hassan Tower sits the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, an equally visit-worthy structure in Rabat. The Mausoleum was constructed between 1962 and 1971 in honor of Mohammed V, who was responsible for leading Morocco to independence in 1962. Now it is the resting place of not only its namesake, but also of his sons.
The exterior of the building is simple yet stunning. With its green-tiled roof and doors guarded by handsomely dressed royal guards, the Mausoleum is a sight not to be missed. The interior, on the other hand, exudes nothing but royalty featuring marble floors as well as walls of elaborate mosaics, gilt and carved wood. The tombs situated on the lower level are the centerpiece of the Mausoleum and can be viewed from the balcony above
Complexe Artisanal Oulja
The village of Oulja, located three kilometers southeast of Salé, is home to the Complexe des Potiers which produces an array of ceramics. The potters bring in clay from the surrounding hills, throw and turn it on kick wheels, then glaze and fire the finished pieces in enormous kilns. One firing takes 15 hours and will reach temperatures up to 900 degrees Celsius. Fine domestic pottery is fired in gas kilns designed to reduce environmental degradation and air pollution. The center has a café and some workshops used by basket weavers and blacksmiths.
Tuesday, October 18 2:30-6:00pm
Sightseeing and Shopping
Rue des Consuls
Rue des Consuls is the area where 19th century diplomats lived. Here you will find shops selling handicrafts from other parts of Morocco such as leather wear from Marrakesh and Fassi pottery, along with locally made colored-hide lamps, carpets, and more. Ensemble Artisanal is another great area to purchase souvenirs.
Explore the 12th century Oudaias Kasbah, the city’s oldest quarter. Inside the fortress walls is a tightly packed, beautiful and tranquil neighborhood. It is home to the signature Moroccan whitewashed and blue-based buildings. There are many highlights during a visit to Oudaias Kasbah, including walking down the main street Rue el Jamma to reach the Ksabah Mosque, the oldest mosque in Rabat. Furthermore, the district is home to stunning views of Salé and the Atlantic Ocean.
This is a small workshop home to craftsman with golden hands and sublime glass creations. Mustapha will not hesitate to demonstrate his handiwork and create pieces of jewelry for those who visit.
To partake in any or all of these complimentary APF cultural site visits, please contact APF Event Coordinator, Kaoutar Chakir: