The agenda of international Itinerary of Pope Francesco in 2019 is enriched by a new stage: Morocco
On 30 and 31 March, Pope Francesco visited the city of Rabat, where the Apostolic Nunciature has been located since 1976. This is the second time of a Pontiff in Morocco, after 33 years of John Paul II’s journey in August 1985, at the invitation of the then King Hassan II, with whom he had held in December two years earlier (1983) an exchange of letters on the legal situation of the Catholic Church in Morocco. It is also the second time for a visit by Jorge Mario Bergoglio to a predominantly North African country, after the one in Egypt in April 2017, the result of the “thaw” between the Vatican and the prestigious Sunni Al-Azhar university. the March 2019 trip – not linked, therefore, to a specific event – therefore represents a new opportunity to strengthen the dialogue between the Catholic Church and Islam and to encourage the small Catholic community: just over 27 thousand faithful, according to statistics, on a population of 34 million inhabitants (about 0.08%). The only stop in Rabat is the royal residence of King Mohammed VI. With the occasion, we want to deepen the peculiarity of Rabat, the amber capital, as a stage of the countless tours that our valid TRANSATOUR correspondent includes in every fascinating tour proposal.
Capital of Morocco,Rabat is considered the symbol of the Country’s immortality. Embraced by miles of amber-colored walls scented with pink and orange hibiscus, the city – elegant and refined – mixes history and modernity. The genesis of the name is linked to the construction in 1150 by the sultan Abd al-Mumin of the fortress on the top of the cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, a mosque and residence which in Arabic is called Ribat. Home to the Royal Palace of His Majesty Mohammed VI, which houses the Government of Morocco, Rabat also has the largest university in the country and is full of shops, cinemas, theaters and bookstores. Try to be in Rabat on Thursday and enter the Rue des Consuls where the characteristic and folkloristic carpet auction is held and where you can buy splendid local handicrafts. Then book a visit to the Caffè Maure, a delicious local inside a kashba, to sip between the benches and the blue tables overlooking the sea the typical mint tea and the typical Moroccan sweets made with honey and almonds.
Click to see a nice video on YouTube about the trip of Pope Francesco https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AxZefaecx8.