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Rabat is the capital of Morocco and its seventh largest city centre with an urban population of approximately 580,000 (2014) and a metropolitan population of over 1.2 million. It is also the capital of the Rabat-Salé-Kénitra administrative region. The city is located on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the river Bou Regreg. On the facing shore of the river lies Salé, the city's main commuter town. Rabat, Temara, and Salé form a conurbation of over 1.8 million people. Silt-related problems have diminished Rabat's role as a port; however, Rabat and Salé still maintain important textile, food processing and construction industries. In addition, tourism and the presence of all foreign embassies in Morocco serve to make Rabat one of the most important cities in the country.
The Kasbah of the Udayas is a kasbah in Rabat, Morocco. It is located at the mouth of the Bou Regreg river opposite Salé. The edifice was built in the 12th century during the reign of the Almohad Caliphate (AD 1121-1269). When the Almohads had captured Rabat and destroyed the kasbah of the Almoravid dynasty in the town, they began reconstructing it in AH 544 / AD 1150. They added a palace and a mosque and named it al-Mahdiyya, after their ancestor al-Mahdi Ibn Tumart. After the death of Yaqub al-Mansur (AH 595 / AD 1199) the kasbah was deserted.
Hassan Tower or Tour Hassan is the minaret of an incomplete mosque in Rabat, Morocco. Begun in 1195, the tower was intended to be the largest minaret in the world along with the mosque, also intended to be the world's largest. In 1199, Sultan Yacub al-Mansour died and construction on the mosque stopped. The tower reached 44 m (140 ft), about half of its intended 86 m (260 ft) height. The rest of the mosque was also left incomplete, with only the beginnings of several walls and 200 columns being constructed. The tower, made of red sandstone, along with the remains of the mosque and the modern Mausoleum of Mohammed V, forms an important historical and tourist complex in Rabat.
Oudaias Museum and the Andalusian Gardens
Within the Oudaias Kasbah are the lovely Andalusian Gardens, which were laid out in the early 20th century. The Oudaias Museum, set within the gardens, is housed in the opulent 17th-century lodge built by Moulay Ismail as his first Rabat residence. At the far end of the lodge, a room displays an ancient Moroccan interior. Cushions in brocade, silk, and gold cover the divans around the room. A little further on is an exhibit of ancient illuminated Qur'ans, jewelry, pottery, and musical instruments.
New City Rabat
(New City) is home to the Archaeological Museum and also the surprisingly interesting Postal Museum (on Avenue Mohammed V), which brings together a superb collection of Moroccan stamps, telephones, and telegraph machines. The streets of the Ville Nouvelle host a wealth of French colonial architecture and are a pleasant place for a stroll. Right on the district's edge, Avenue Hassan II follows the 17th-century Undulations Wall separating the modern city from the medina.