Africa, Earth, Morocco, Northern Africa

Morocco – Bab Chellah

Morocco 20 Dirhams, front

King Mohammed VI is featured on the front of the 2005 series banknote.  Born the oldest son to Hassan II, Mohammed was named Heir Apparent and Crown Prince on the day of his birth in 1963.  On July 23, 1999, he ascended the throne upon the death of his father and reigns as king to this day.

Beyond him is the gate of the Chellah, often referenced as bab callah, or similar, “bab” being an arabic word for gate.  Chellah is an ancient fortress in Rabat, about 3 kilometers up the River Bou Reg from the Kasbah illustrated below.  The gate can be seen in this photo in google earth.

Morocco 20 Dirhams, back

Featured on the back of this banknote is the Kasbah of Rabat, on the Atlantic ocean at the mouth of the River Bou Reg.  A kasbah, with various similar english spellings from the Arabic noun such as qasaba and qasbah, is a citadel or fortress or the central fortified part of a town.  In Morocco it frequently refers to multiple buildings in a citadel or behind a defensive wall.  Sometimes they were built on commanding hills for defense.  Often they were built at the entrance to harbors, such as ours here at Rabat in Morocco.  This was built in the 12th century.  It has recently been added to the World Heritage list.  The Kasbah can be seen in this google earth image.

Detail from the back of the 20 Dirham Morocco banknote illustrating the Kasbah of the Udayas
View of the Kasbah of the Udayas from the opposite side of the mouth of the River Bou Reg; from Sale, twin city to the capital of Morocco, Rabat.  The high tower of the Kasbah is far left in the photo and central in the bankote image.