Rabat

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Rabat is the capital and third largest city of the Kingdom of Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

 with a population of approximately 650,000 (2010). It is also the capital of the Rabat-Salé-Zemmour-Zaer
Rabat-Salé-Zemmour-Zaer
Rabat-Salé-Zemmour-Zaer is one of the sixteen regions of Morocco. It is situated in north-western Morocco. It covers an area of 9,580 km², and has a population of 2,366,494...

 region.

The city is located on the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 at the mouth of the river Bou Regreg
Bou Regreg
The Bou Regreg is a river located in western Morocco which discharges to the Atlantic Ocean between the cities of Rabat and Salé. The estuary of this river is termed Wadi Sala....

. On the facing shore of the river lies Salé
Salé
Salé is a city in north-western Morocco, on the right bank of the Bou Regreg river, opposite the national capital Rabat, for which it serves as a commuter town...

, the city's main commuter town
Commuter town
A commuter town is an urban community that is primarily residential, from which most of the workforce commutes out to earn their livelihood. Many commuter towns act as suburbs of a nearby metropolis that workers travel to daily, and many suburbs are commuter towns...

. Together with Temara
Temara
Temara is a coastal city in Morocco. It is part of the Wilaya Rabat -Salé, and is located directly south of Rabat on the Atlantic coast, in the suburban area of the capital. The city has 250,000 inhabitants as of 2010. It is twinned with Saint Germain en Laye, France...

 the cities account for a combined metropolitan population of 1.8 million. Silting problems have diminished the Rabat's role as a port; however, Rabat and Salé still maintain important textile
Textile
A textile or cloth is a flexible woven material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibres often referred to as thread or yarn. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibres of wool, flax, cotton, or other material to produce long strands...

, food processing
Food processing
Food processing is the set of methods and techniques used to transform raw ingredients into food or to transform food into other forms for consumption by humans or animals either in the home or by the food processing industry...

 and construction
Construction
In the fields of architecture and civil engineering, construction is a process that consists of the building or assembling of infrastructure. Far from being a single activity, large scale construction is a feat of human multitasking...

 industries. In addition, tourism and the presence of all foreign embassies in Morocco serve to make Rabat one of the most important cities in the country. Controversy surrounds sweatshop
Sweatshop
Sweatshop is a negatively connoted term for any working environment considered to be unacceptably difficult or dangerous. Sweatshop workers often work long hours for very low pay, regardless of laws mandating overtime pay or a minimum wage. Child labour laws may be violated. Sweatshops may have...

 labour by major multinational corporations in the area (see Salé).

Rabat is accessible by train through the ONCF
ONCF
ONCF or ONCFM is Morocco's national railway operator. The Office employs around 9,767 employees and has a network of 1,907 km, all standard gauge...

 system and by plane through the nearby Rabat-Salé Airport
Rabat-Salé Airport
Salé Airport or Rabat-Salé Airport is an airport serving Rabat, the capital city of Morocco, and also the capital of the Rabat-Salé-Zemmour-Zaer region. It is a joint use public and military airport, also known as the First Royal Air Force Base...

.

BC to 17th century


Rabat's history began with a settlement, known as Chellah
Chellah
Chellah, or Sala Colonia is a necropolis and complex of ancient Roman Mauretania Tingitana and medieval ruins at Rabat, Morocco. It is the most ancient human settlement on the mouth of the Bou Regreg River.-History:...

 on the banks of the Oued Bou Regreg in the third century BC. In 40 AD, Romans
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 took over Chellah and converted it to the Roman settlement of Sala Colonia. Rome held the colony until 250 AD when they abandoned it to local rulers. In 1146, the Almohad
Almohad
The Almohad Dynasty , was a Moroccan Berber-Muslim dynasty founded in the 12th century that established a Berber state in Tinmel in the Atlas Mountains in roughly 1120.The movement was started by Ibn Tumart in the Masmuda tribe, followed by Abd al-Mu'min al-Gumi between 1130 and his...

 ruler Abd al-Mu'min
Abd al-Mu'min
Abd al-Mu'min also known as Abdelmoumen El Goumi was a Zenata Berber prominent member of the Almohad movement. He became the first Caliph of the Almohad Empire .- Early life :...

 turned Rabat's ribat into a full scale fortress to use as a launching point for attacks on Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

. In 1170, due to its military importance, Rabat acquired the title Ribatu l-Fath, meaning "stronghold of victory," from which it derives its current name.

Yaqub al-Mansur
Yaqub, Almohad Caliph
Abu Yusuf Ya'qub al-Mansur , also known as Moulay Yacoub, was the third Almohad AmirSucceeding his father, Abu Ya'qub Yusuf, Yaqub al-Mansur reigned from 1184 to 1199 with distinction. During his tenure, trade, architecture, philosophy and the sciences flourished, to say nothing of military...

 (known as Moulay Yacoub in Morocco), another Almohad Caliph, moved the capital of his empire to Rabat. He built Rabat's city walls, the Kasbah of the Udayas
Kasbah of the Udayas
The Kasbah of the Udayas is a kasbah in Rabat, Morocco located at the mouth of the Bou Regreg river opposite of Salé. It was built during the reign of the Almohads....

 and began construction on what would have been the world's largest mosque. However, Yaqub died and construction stopped. The ruins of the unfinished mosque, along with the Hassan Tower
Hassan Tower
Hassan Tower or Tour Hassan is the minaret of an incomplete mosque in Rabat, Morocco. Begun in 1195, the tower was intended to be the largest minaret in the world along with the mosque, also intended to be the world's largest. In 1199, Sultan Yacoub al-Mansour died and construction on the mosque...

, still stand today.

Yaqub's death initiated a period of decline. The Almohad empire lost control of its possessions in Spain and much of its African territory, eventually leading to its total collapse. In the 13th century, much of Rabat's economic power shifted to Fez. In 1515 a Moorish explorer, El Wassan, reported that Rabat had declined so much that only 100 inhabited houses remained. An influx of Morisco
Morisco
Moriscos or Mouriscos , meaning "Moorish", were the converted Christian inhabitants of Spain and Portugal of Muslim heritage. Over time the term was used in a pejorative sense applied to those nominal Catholics who were suspected of secretly practicing Islam.-Demographics:By the beginning of the...

s, who had been expelled from Spain, in the early 17th century helped boost Rabat's growth.

Corsair republics


Rabat and neighboring Salé united to form the Republic of Bou Regreg in 1627. The republic was run by Barbary pirates who used the two cities as base ports for launching attacks on shipping. The pirates did not have to contend with any central authority until the Alaouite Dynasty
Alaouite Dynasty
The Alaouite Dynasty is the name of the current Moroccan royal family. The name Alaouite comes from the ‘Alī of its founder Moulay Ali Cherif who became Prince of Tafilalt in 1631. His son Mulay r-Rshid was able to unite and pacify the country...

 united Morocco in 1666. The latter attempted to establish control over the pirates, but failed. European and Muslims authorities continued to attempt to control the pirates over many years, but the Republic of Bou Regreg did not collapse until 1818. Even after the republic's collapse, pirates continued to use the port of Rabat, which led to the shelling of the city by Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 in 1829 after an Austrian ship had been lost to a pirate attack.

French invasion


The French invaded Morocco in 1912 and established a protectorate. The French administrator of Morocco, General Hubert Lyautey
Hubert Lyautey
Louis Hubert Gonzalve Lyautey was a French Army general, the first Resident-General in Morocco from 1912 to 1925 and from 1921 Marshal of France.-Early life:...

, decided to relocate the country's capital from Fez to Rabat. Among other factors, rebellious citizens had made Fez an unstable place. Sultan Moulay Youssef
Yusef of Morocco
Sultan Yusef ben Hassan ruled Morocco from 1912 until his death in 1927. Born in the city of Meknes to Sultan Hassan I, he inherited the throne from his brother, Sultan Abdelhafid, who abdicated after the Treaty of Fez , which made Morocco a French protectorate. He was a member of the Alaouite...

 followed the decision of the French and moved his residence to Rabat. In 1913, Gen. Lyautey hired Henri Prost
Henri Prost
Henri Prost was a French architect and town planner. He was noted in particularly for his work in Morocco and designed a number of city streets and buildings between 1914 and 1922, including Casablanca, Fès, Marrakech, Meknès and Rabat.He was the co-founder in 1911 of the French Society of...

 who designed the Ville Nouvelle (Rabat's modern quarter) as an administrative sector. When Morocco achieved independence in 1956, Mohammed V, the then King of Morocco, chose to have the capital remain at Rabat.

Post World War II


Following World War II, the United States established a military presence in Rabat at the former French air base. By the early 1950s, Rabat Salé Air Base was a U.S. Air Force installation hosting the 17th Air Force and the 5th Air Division, which oversaw forward basing for Strategic Air Command
Strategic Air Command
The Strategic Air Command was both a Major Command of the United States Air Force and a "specified command" of the United States Department of Defense. SAC was the operational establishment in charge of America's land-based strategic bomber aircraft and land-based intercontinental ballistic...

 (SAC) B-47 Stratojet
B-47 Stratojet
The Boeing Model 450 B-47 Stratojet was a long-range, six-engined, jet-powered medium bomber built to fly at high subsonic speeds and at high altitudes. It was primarily designed to drop nuclear bombs on the Soviet Union...

 aircraft in the country. With the destabilization of French government in Morocco, and Moroccan independence in 1956, the government of Mohammed V wanted the U.S. Air Force to pull out of the SAC bases in Morocco, insisting on such action after American intervention in Lebanon in 1958. The United States agreed to leave as of December 1959, and was fully out of Morocco by 1963. SAC felt the Moroccan bases were much less critical with the long range capability of the B-52 Stratofortress
B-52 Stratofortress
The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress is a long-range, subsonic, jet-powered strategic bomber operated by the United States Air Force since the 1950s. The B-52 was designed and built by Boeing, who have continued to provide maintainence and upgrades to the aircraft in service...

es that were replacing the B-47s and with the completion of the USAF installations in Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 in 1959.

With the USAF withdrawal from Rabat-Salé in the 1960s, the facility became a primary facility for the Royal Moroccan Air Force
Royal Moroccan Air Force
The Royal Moroccan Air Force is the air force branch of the Moroccan Armed Forces.-History:...

 known as Air Base Nº 1, a status it continues to hold.

Neighborhoods of Rabat


Rabat is an administrative city, it does not have many shopping districts, but many residential neighborhoods. Geographically spread out neighborhoods as follows:

The heart of the city consists of three parts: the Medina (old town), the Oudayas and Hassan, both located to meet the Bou Regreg
Bou Regreg
The Bou Regreg is a river located in western Morocco which discharges to the Atlantic Ocean between the cities of Rabat and Salé. The estuary of this river is termed Wadi Sala....

 and the Atlantic Ocean.

To the west, and along the waterfront, there is a succession of neighborhoods:
First, around the ramparts, the old quarters of the ocean and orange (popular and middle class). Beyond that, a succession of mostly popular neighborhoods: Diour Jamaa, Akkari, Yacoub El Mansour, Massira and Hay el Fath are the main parts of this axis. Hay el Fath, which ends this sequence, evolves into a kind of middle class attendance.

To the east, along the Bouregreg, there are neighborhoods Youssoufia, Douar el Hajj, Mabel Taqaddoum, Hay Nahda, Aviation, Romani (working and middle classes).

Between these two axes, going from north to south, there are 3 main areas (middle class to very easy): Agdal
Agdal
Agdal is an urban community of Rabat, the capital of Morocco. It is a former suburb whose chief inhabitants, prior to the postwar expansion of the city, were the students of the nearby university. Presently, it is among the richest neighborhoods in Morocco...

 (Ward Building lively mixing residential and commercial functions, predominantly to the middle classes to wealthy), Hay Riad (affluent villas which has been a surge of momentum since the 2000s), and Souissi (neighborhood very easy, mostly residential). On the outskirts of Souissi, in continuity, the district Ambassadors. These neighborhoods are characterized by rapid urbanization in large bodies, airy, often wooded remote mists of the ocean, in contrast to the tighter and denser islets that surround it.

Families of Rabat


Called Rbatis, these families have lived for more than four hundred years many events in common. From the expulsion of the Moriscos to arrive at the foundation of a culture that combines the Arabic and Andalusian cultures, through the Republic of Bouregreg events than other families coming to live in Rabat recently, have not known.

Since its founding, Rabat was inhabited by several families from the High Atlas with Abu Yusuf Yaqub al-Mansur, who founded the city in 1198, then families from many parts of Morocco have settled. Rabat has around 1240 a few hundred fifty families whose families Chiadmi, Regragui, Loudiyi, etc.

Since the end of the thirteenth century, the city has an influx of Moriscos expelled from Granada until 1609, year of total expulsion of Muslims from Spain by Philip III. These families include: Bagach (Vargas), Guedira (Gadaira), Mouline (Molina), Sebbata (Zapata).
The said families are considered, until today, such as "Rbati's Families of strain." They are about four hundred families.

Other families in the city, are considered residents of Rabat because they came at the time when Rabat became the capital of the country, either through rural exodus or to work in public administration based in the city since the establishment of the protectorate.

Climate


Rabat features a Mediterranean climate
Mediterranean climate
A Mediterranean climate is the climate typical of most of the lands in the Mediterranean Basin, and is a particular variety of subtropical climate...

 with Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 of Csa. Located along the Atlantic Ocean, Rabat has a mild, temperate climate, shifting from cool in winter to warm days in the summer months. The nights are always cool (or colder in winter), with daytime temperatures generally rising about +9/10 C° (+15/18 F°). The winter highs typically reach only 17.5 °C (63.5 °F) in December–January.

Culture



The biggest place for theatre is the Theatre Mohamed V in the centre of the town.
The city also has a few official galleries and an archeological museum.
Many organizations are active in cultural and social issues. Orient-Occident Foundation and ONA Foundation are the biggest of these. An independent art scene is active in the city. L'appartement 22
L'appartement 22
L'appartement 22 is an independent, collaborative project founded by Abdellah Karroum and based in Rabat, Morocco.The first such space in Morocco, it has since inspired a number of artist-run spaces and collectives. From its first exhibition in October 2002, L'appartement 22 has consistently...

, which is the first independent space for visual arts created by Abdellah Karroum, opened in 2002 and introducing both international and local artists. Other independent spaces opened few years after, such as Le Cube, also set up in a private space.

Rabat was selected as a filming location for the war film Black Hawk Down (2001).

Main sights

  • Mausoleum of Mohammed V
    Mausoleum of Mohammed V
    The Mausoleum of Mohammed V is a historical building located on the opposite side of the Hassan Tower on the Yacoub al-Mansour esplanade in Rabat, Morocco. It contains the tombs of the Moroccan king and his two sons, late King Hassan II and Prince Abdallah...

  • Mohammed V University
    Mohammed V University
    Mohammed V University was founded in 1957 under a royal decree . It is the first modern university in Morocco.The university is named after Mohammed V d. 1961, the former King of Morocco. In 1993, it was divided into two independent universities:* Mohammed V University at Agdal* Mohammed V...

     is located in the city.
  • Hassan Tower
    Hassan Tower
    Hassan Tower or Tour Hassan is the minaret of an incomplete mosque in Rabat, Morocco. Begun in 1195, the tower was intended to be the largest minaret in the world along with the mosque, also intended to be the world's largest. In 1199, Sultan Yacoub al-Mansour died and construction on the mosque...

  • Chellah necropolis
    Chellah
    Chellah, or Sala Colonia is a necropolis and complex of ancient Roman Mauretania Tingitana and medieval ruins at Rabat, Morocco. It is the most ancient human settlement on the mouth of the Bou Regreg River.-History:...

  • Kasbah of the Udayas
    Kasbah of the Udayas
    The Kasbah of the Udayas is a kasbah in Rabat, Morocco located at the mouth of the Bou Regreg river opposite of Salé. It was built during the reign of the Almohads....

  • Rabat Archaeological Museum
    Rabat Archaeological Museum
    Rabat Archaeological Museum is an archaeological museum in Rabat, Morocco. Opened in 1932, it contains the most extensive collection of archaeological artifacts found in Morocco...


Twin towns - Sister cities


Rabat is twinned
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 with:
Bethlehem
Bethlehem
Bethlehem is a Palestinian city in the central West Bank of the Jordan River, near Israel and approximately south of Jerusalem, with a population of about 30,000 people. It is the capital of the Bethlehem Governorate of the Palestinian National Authority and a hub of Palestinian culture and tourism...

, Palestinian Authority Tunis
Tunis
Tunis is the capital of both the Tunisian Republic and the Tunis Governorate. It is Tunisia's largest city, with a population of 728,453 as of 2004; the greater metropolitan area holds some 2,412,500 inhabitants....

, Tunisia
Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

, since 1987 Honolulu, USA Stockholm
Stockholm
Stockholm is the capital and the largest city of Sweden and constitutes the most populated urban area in Scandinavia. Stockholm is the most populous city in Sweden, with a population of 851,155 in the municipality , 1.37 million in the urban area , and around 2.1 million in the metropolitan area...

, Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 Bursa, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 since 2010.
Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

, Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 Seville
Seville
Seville is the artistic, historic, cultural, and financial capital of southern Spain. It is the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia and of the province of Seville. It is situated on the plain of the River Guadalquivir, with an average elevation of above sea level...

, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...


See also

  • Rabat-Salé-Zemmour-Zaer
    Rabat-Salé-Zemmour-Zaer
    Rabat-Salé-Zemmour-Zaer is one of the sixteen regions of Morocco. It is situated in north-western Morocco. It covers an area of 9,580 km², and has a population of 2,366,494...

  • Morocco
    Morocco
    Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

  • Salé
    Salé
    Salé is a city in north-western Morocco, on the right bank of the Bou Regreg river, opposite the national capital Rabat, for which it serves as a commuter town...

  • Republic of Bou Regreg
  • Chellah
    Chellah
    Chellah, or Sala Colonia is a necropolis and complex of ancient Roman Mauretania Tingitana and medieval ruins at Rabat, Morocco. It is the most ancient human settlement on the mouth of the Bou Regreg River.-History:...

  • Kasbah of the Udayas
    Kasbah of the Udayas
    The Kasbah of the Udayas is a kasbah in Rabat, Morocco located at the mouth of the Bou Regreg river opposite of Salé. It was built during the reign of the Almohads....


External links