Oudaya Kasabah is the ancient origin of Rabat, the capital of Morocco nowadays. Oudaya Kasabah is considered to be one of the most important historical sites in Rabat visited by numerous travelers who come to spend their holidays in Morocco.
Connected to the ancient town of Chella and overlooking the Atlantic Ocean through its fortified walls, many tourists come to Oudaya Kasbah to enjoy the amazing scenes of the sunset over the Atlantic Ocean.The area is also a popular residence for many Moroccans and several art exhibitions as well.
Most historians assert that Oudaya Kasbah hosts the history of all the dynasties that ruled over Morocco and the whole region for more than 1000 years. This is why a visit to Oudaya Kasbah is a must for anybody going on a Morocco tour.
The location of Oudaya Kasbah
Oudaya Kasabah is located to the North East the city of Rabat situated on a rock cliff at the coast of the Atlantic Ocean and the mouth of the Bou Regreg River, which is an amazing location that have always attracted many people who come to spend their vacation in Morocco.
The name Oudaya Kasbah
The name Oudaya is derived from the name of a desert tribe that used to live in the area and the men of the tribe was added to the Alaouite army to defend the city against the attacks of other nearby tribes.
The history of Oudaya Kasbah
Oudaya Kasbah is the most ancient section in the west bank of the Bou Regreg River that has ever been inhabited as some Imazighen Berber tribes have lived in this area as early as the 11th century. However, away from the recorded history, from the times of the Imazighen tribes until today, nothing is known about the area.
Little is known about the history of the area where Oudaya Kasabah was established before the Almohad dynasty came to the area.
Historians have noted that Almoravids King, Tshafin Ibn Ali, before fighting the Almohad armies in 1143, he established a military and religious center near the mouth of Bou Regreg River with the name the palace of Bani Tarka. Some excavation works have unearthed some ruins of this ancient center.
In 1150 AD Abdel Al Momen Ibn Ali, the first Almoravids Ruler who reigned from 1094 till 1163, have ordered his men to constructed a fortress on the left bank of the Bou Regreg River and he named it Al Mahdeya and this military center has played a vital role in the region until the death of its founder in 1163.
Nothing to be mentioned took place in the area until the year 1609 when Philippe II expelled around 2000 persons from the Moriscos, a group of Muslims who used to live in Andalusia and forced to be Christians or leave their lands, out of Spain. This group of people have resorted to the Kasbah and stayed there for a few years before Zidane Ibn Ahmed, who ruled the Saadi dynasty from 1603 till 1627 integrated them in his army to protect the cities of Rabat and Chella.
The Moriscos at the time believed they should have their independent state and they formed what was named as the Republic of Bou Regreg and they had the Kasbah as their capital. This small state that the Moriscos have established has lived mainly on taking taxes from ships arriving to the nearby port and dealing with pirates who used to work near the Atlantic shores.
The independency that the Moriscos have enjoyed has not lasted for more than 45 years. When the Alaouite dynasty came in power, Al Rashid, the first true Sultan of the Alaouite dynasty controlled the area once again in 1666 and had the Moriscos under his authority.
Although the piracy activities did not stop in the region, Sultan Al Rashid was able to control the situation in the Kasbah which witnessed many expansions during his rule. The walls of the Kasbah were stretched to the South Eastern direction and he added two high monitoring towers. He also added a royal residence to the Kasbah that acted for a long period of time until Sultan Ismail came in power in 1672.
During the period from 1757 till 1789 Sultan Mohamed Ibn Abdallah restored the fortifications of the Kasbah and rebuilt the port to ward off the attacks of the Christians. Sultan Mohamed Ibn Abdallah has also established a strong fleet and army to stand against the activities of the pirates in the region. He also added a tall strong monitoring tower with the name Saqqala to the Kasbah.
During the rule of Sultan Yazid that lasted from 1790 till 1792 many buildings and structures were added to the Kasbah including the store house. This is in addition to the achievements of Sultan Abdel Rahman who ruled the dynasty from 1822 to 1859 as he gave some tasks to the inhabitants of the Kasbah tribe who became the police of the area collecting taxes and managing public affairs.
Oudaya Kasbah today
The fortress of Oudaya Kasbah that once was the theatre of many struggles and military operations has been modified nowadays to be a touristic attraction and a historical site that was added to the UNESCO heritage list recently and it has been also added to all the Morocco travel tours and all packages to Morocco.
Oudaya Kasbah has a special Arabian Andalusian style of architecture that is clear in its gates, corners, and garden ornamented wit flowers, roses, and fountains.
The Andalusian character of Oudaya Kasbah can be attributed to the Moriscos who have immigrated to the area in the 15th century after being expelled out of Spain. This group of people has introduced their civilization, art, thoughts, and style of architecture to the region as they have settled in Oudaya Kasbah for many years.
The guests can enter Oudaya Kasbah from the Grand gate and once they step inside through this huge decorated door, they find themselves in front of an amazing distinctive world.
Many small balconies are spread all over the area with roses and flowers hanging from them. Several narrow lanes colored in the white and blue colors connect the area all together giving it an amazing romantic sense.
Tourists find themselves amazed in Oudaya Kasbah as if they are listening to a symphony with everything harmonizing together. There are no workshops, factories, buses, taxies, or any sort of smoke or pollution. This is why Oudaya Kasbah has become one of the most popular spots in Rabat for travelers who go on trips to Morocco
Since Oudaya Kasbah has its own magic being different than any other section in Rabat that has been conquered with modern houses and streets, many artists, photographers, musicians, and poets visit the place regularly as it has been always a source of inspiration for the Moroccans and many people from around the world who enjoy their trip to Morocco.
The Oudaya Cafe
After an interesting walk around the area, tourists must rest in the Oudaya cafe that is as ancient as the whole place. The most popular drink in the cafe is the Moroccan traditional tea with mint. Tourists love enjoying their stay in the cafe and watch the ruins of the ancient town of Chella and the Atlantic Ocean.
The Oudaya Museum
One of the most remarkable places to visit in Kasbah Oudaya is the museum hosted in the suit established by King Ismail in the 17th century. The museum displays many Moroccan traditional dresses and robes, jewelry, musical instruments, pottery, and many other exhibits. The museum has an amazing style of architecture as it was mainly erected as a small royal palace of King Ismail.
The Oudaya Museum also displays a collection of historical rational men's clothes including Arabian, Islamic, Barbarian, Imazighen, and African outfits.
Oudaya Kasbah will always remain as the meeting point of civilizations and a wonderful place for inspiration and creativity. Going on Morocco private tours or any other sort of packages in Morocco is always enjoyable for travelers from all ages and social backgrounds
Keywords : Moroco tour, trip to Morocco, Morocco tours, vacation in Morocco, Morocco holidays, Morocco trips, Packages to Morocco.