Benefiting from an oceanic climate, the place is the opposite of what one might imagine when one thinks of the cities of the Maghreb: the thermometer rarely exceeds 25° C during the summer, which makes it an ideal city to visit for Europeans unaccustomed to stifling temperatures. But Rabat is also a striking contrast: that of an urban and trendy metropolis displaying an impressive list of monuments, cultural and heritage sites that will be very pleasant to contemplate.
Located on the Atlantic coast, Rabat is the political and administrative capital of Morocco, and the second largest city in the kingdom. An imperial city listed as a UNESCO world heritage site in 2013, it was founded in the 12th century by the great Almohad sultan “Abd al Moumen”, whose ribat (a religious and military camp including a citadel and immense ramparts) was nothing less than the starting point of Arab incursions into Spain: from then on, the Muslims settled in Andalusia brought about the golden age of the city by giving it a leading commercial and artisanal role. At the beginning of the 20th century, however, it was only to a small town of 25,000 inhabitants that Marshal Lyautey entrusted the status of political and administrative capital of the French protectorate.