Culture

Rabat’s Ancient Ruins and their Modern Guardians: Cats and Storks

By Tyler Brock

Rabat - When you enter the ancient ruins of Chellah, you can see some of the greatest architecture in the ancient world. Corinthian columns spread across these historic grounds.

Dismembered statues of human figures lay scattered in their final resting place. Horseshoe arches give way to intricate structures it's hard to believe were built in ancient times. But, beware of the many creatures guarding its ruins.

At the entrance it sits, with sharp teeth and pointy ears. Its tail twitches side to side just before it strikes. It does not speak any human language, making it difficult to know how to please the beast. Sometimes, however, it will just let you pass with no trouble at all.

Yes, even here in Chellah cats roam free amongst the ancient ruins. Often you can find them napping under a palm tree, or find kittens climbing that same palm tree playing a game of tag.

Once you get through the gates, beware of the tall ever-present guardians that lurk above. Their loud chatter can shake you to your core. You might worry that they'll carry you away as they swoop down.

They dress themselves in white and black. Their weapons of choice: a sharp beak and talons. When they stand up they're almost four feet tall.

The white storks of Chellah call this historic site home and there is no mistaking when they are around when they communicate by throwing their heads back and clapping their beaks together.

Yes, the guardians of these lands may be animals, but they are harmless, and visitors are welcome to visit anywhere from 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM, seven days a week.

If you are into history, then you need to make time to go see the Chellah ruins just outside of Rabat, but if you do, beware of the guardians.

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