The Kasbah Museum or Kasbah Museum of Mediterranean Cultures is located on top of the hill in the medina. Kasbah actually means the citadel or fortress of a village. It is usually located at the highest point for defense purposes.
The Kasbah Palace is in the eastern part of the Kasbah in a strategic position. It was used by both the Carthaginians and the Romans. This was the site of the governors of the city as early as the 12th century. The Portuguese governors resided here between 1471 and 1661. From 1662 to 1684, a larger castle was the residence of British governors.
Ahmed Ben Ali who fought against the English occupation in 1684 built the current palace that houses the museum. Since 1737, this structure has been the seat of power and the symbol of local authority. In 1922, the Kasbah Palace became a museum.
The building itself is worth the climb to the top of the hill and the small entrance fee of 20 dirhams. Hours of operation for the museum is 10-6 every day except Tuesday. Outside the gate at the top of the Kasbah, don’t miss the stunning views of the port and the Mediterranean Sea.
Inside the museum, you will see a typical Moroccan style palace. It features zellij coating, carved plaster, painted and carved wooden dome. The large patio is decorated in white marble indicating their European origin.
The collection of the museum consists of archeological and ethnographic artifacts. There is a useful video at the beginning of the exhibit and artifacts brought from throughout the area. Of particular interest is the mosaic brought from Volubilis and a large ancient map of the world said to be one of the first.
Also, don’t miss the gardens! The Moroccan-Andalusian style garden includes a beautiful fountain, all types of tropical plants and orange trees.