The history of the Oudayas Kasbah is essentially the early history of Rabat and where the city began in the 12th century. It was built by the Almohad dynasty to fortify its newfound territory on the Bou Regreg River. It was ideally placed to protect the city from pirate ships and invading forces.
During the Alouite dynasty, Sultan Yacoub al Mansour (who built the famous Koutoubia mosque in Marrakech), refortified the structure and hired the Arab tribe – the Oudayas – to defend it. Today it takes its name from that tribe – Oudayas Kasbah.
In the 17th century it was inhabited by Muslims fleeing from Catholic Spain.
Today it is a flourishing city within a city and home to about 2,000 residents who obviously love and take pride in their blue and white painted homes on narrow, winding walkways. In 2012 it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Andalusian Gardens, within the Kasbah, were laid out by the French during the colonial period, It is a charming oasis filled with fruit trees and bougainvillea and other flowering shrubs.
This huge cemetery, overlooking the Atlantic, is situated next to the Kasbah.