In Chellah, hundreds of flowers bloom in the middle of the desert during spring, in one of the most spectacular transformations from barrenness to prolific abundance courtesy of nature.
Located in the capital city of Morocco, Rabat, the Chellah Gardens are beautifully landscaped with hundreds of flowers coming with the most amazing variety of scents. The flowers come in every color imaginable and produce an incredible display for passersby to enjoy.
The Citadel of Chellah is loaded with historical significance. Also known as Chellah Rabat, it is said to be the first place to be settled along Bou Regreg River around the third century BC. Before the twelfth century Chellah served as a home to the people who inhabited it but emptied in 1200’s because Rabat’s sister city Sale became a more popular place to live in. Over the years people left Chellah in the hope that Sale would provide them with more opportunities.
Its sanctuary was used as royal burial place and its entrance door is magnificently decorated and inscribed with Arabesque calligraphy. Chellah Rabat experienced a very strong earthquake during the 18th century which destroyed many of its structures from ancient Morocco. What used to be a thriving city and port, Chellah is now a major tourist attraction and is converted to a lush and beautiful garden.
The Almohads who had the door decorated and inscribed with Arabesque calligraphy created the remarkable entrance into Chellah. The Roman ruins of the Chellah Gardens, much like the ruins of Volubilis are also open to the public and many travelers are surprised at how freely tourists can roam around the area. With minimal observation from the workers and security working there, it is up to travelers to make sure they respect certain areas.
The Merenid Sultan Abou El Hassan added some monuments and the striking main gate during his reign in the mid-14th century. Just inside the gate are the Roman ruins dating from 200 BC, which includes a forum, a temple and a craftsmen’s quarter. A minaret made of stone is a nice centerpiece. The Abou Youssef Mosque is now in ruins and was a small structure to begin with. However, the area is near the royal tombs, where Abou El Hassan and other historical leaders of importance are buried.
The Chellah Gardens are an artistic collection of desert blooms and ancient architecture that make a trip to the north of Africa, where Morocco is located worthwhile.