Before entering the labyrinthine Kasbah, be sure to take note of the intricate features of this gate.
A gateway to history
The Almohad gate of Bab Oudaia, built in the twelfth century, is the entrance to one of the historic corners of Rabat, the Kasbah of Oudayas, a fortification strategically positioned high in the mountains so as to provide defence against attacks from enemy tribes. Bab Oudaia was placed far from the palace of the sultan, Yacoub al Mansour, and so it is believed that the construction was intended more for ceremony rather than defence. Through this gate of ochre and reddish hues, adorned with geometric arches and Kufic inscriptions, would pass slave traders, pirates and buccaneers, merchants and expelled Moriscos from Andalucía, all of whom contributed to the wealth of the city. The kasbah prominently overlooks the sea and the River Bou Regreg. Although originally for defensive purposes, crossing the gateway these days will only plunge you into a peaceful residential area, ideal for exploring and soaking up its breath-taking views.