History in Rabat
The earliest settlement at the mouth of the Bou Regreg river date back to preroman times. During the Roman Empire there was a fortress, Sala, at the location of the Chellah. It was the southernmost colony in Morocco of the Romans.
It was the Almohads who founded as we know it about in the twelfth century. Rabat and Sale had their finest hour in the seventeen century, when the Republic of the Bou Regreg was a major basis of Piracy in the world. Moroccan pirates went as far as Ireland.
Rabat has been the capital city of the Moroccan kingdom since 1912. It was built on Challah ruins whose history may be traced back to the VIIIth century. By the end of the Xth century, the Zenetes, a Berber tribe, made of it a place for their military barracks. Casbah of Oudayas is now what remains of that military site. In the XIIth century, the city bacame the capital city of Almohades and Yacoub EL MANSOUR gave it the name of "Ribat El Fath" (Victory Fortress). Rabat owes its beautiful architecture and wonderful old buildings to Yacoub EL MANSOUR. A six kilometre-long-wall with five big gates, Hassan Mosque, which had it been completed, it could have been one of the biggest mosques in the Arab world at that time, and the great old gate of Oudayas Casbah are some intersting historical sites which are really worth visiting. Andalousians, Arabs who were chased off Spain, came and settled in Rabat.
In 1666 and under the reign of Moulay Rachid, the city got prosperous. He built more walls to protect it and finished building the Casbah and the port.
In 1912, Rabat has become the capital city of the Kingdom; offices, universities and embassies with their modern architecture draw a contrast with old walls and towers.
Mohammed V mausoleum, a typical sample of Moroccan architecture, stands mejestically near Hassan mosque overlooking the Atlantic ocean and its neigbouring river, Bou Rereg.
November 07, 2005