Rabat - History

King of Morocco

King of Morocco

3rd century BC: A settlement is founded about 1 km in from the Atlantic coast on the southern green slopes south of Oued Bou Regreg. The place is eventually named Chellah.

Around 40 AD: Romans take control over Chellah, and names it Sala Colonia.

Around 250: Romans leave Sala Colonia, and it gets berber rulers.

10th century: A ribat is established by Muslim warriors at the cliff 100 metre south of the outlet of Oued Bou Regreg.

1146: The ribat is turned into a fortress by the Almohad ruler, Abdu l-Mu'min, with the intention of using it as launching point for jihad against Spain. (Holy war for the religion'. Jihad is divided into two groups, the greater which is the spiritual struggle of each man, against vice, passion, and ignorance. This understanding of jihad has been presented by apologetics of modern times, but is an understanding of the term rarely used by Muslims themselves.)

1170: Gets the name Ribatu l-Fath, meaning "stronghold of the victory".

1190s: The Almohad ruler, Yaqubu l-Mansur has the walls built, which today surround the northern parts of modern Rabat. Yaqub also makes it his new capital.

1196: A large mosque is started to be built, but after Yaqub's death just a few years later, the building stops. Today, the lower parts of the columns still stand, together with the completed minaret (Minaret are now very much symbols of Islam, but not theologically heavy symbols. Minarets are often adorned, high, and striving to be as slim and elegant as possible. Modern minarets are often giving even more room for artisitic achievements than in earlier times. The groundfloor of minarets are always fitted into a square, with the minaret being everything from square to round- many are octagonal. The top ends in the house where the muezzin either is or where the loudspeakers are, covered with a pointed roof.)

13th century: Decline of Rabat starts, and economical power of northern Morocco is moved to fez.

1609: Large immigration of Moors from Andalucia, bringing vitality to the tiny town. It is now known as Sale Jadida.

1627: The Republic of Bou Regreg is established. It quickly develops into a centre of large scale pirate activities in the Mediterranean and the North Atlantic. The pirates even travel as far away as Great Britain and Ireland.

1666: The Alaouites dispatches a governor for Rabat, in an attempt to get control over the rebellious city.

1672: Sultan Moulay Ismail starts heavy taxation on the pirates, in order to limit their profits.

1768: European nations start acting together against the piracy, resulting in a strong reduction of pirates towards the end of the century.

1818: The Republic of Bou Regreg falls apart, and some piracy continues to be staged from Rabat.

1829: Rabat and other coast towns are shelled by Austria, because of the loss of an Austrian ship to the pirates.

1912: Rabat replaces Fez as capital, when Morocco is turned into a French protectorate.

- Resident General in Morocco, Louis Hubert Lyautey, starts building a French style city, which today is the main area of Rabat.

1956: Morocco gains its independence, and Rabat continues to be the capital.

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