Rabat Morocco Capital
Rabat is the Capital of the Kingdom of Morocco, as well as of the Rabat – Salé – Kénitra administrative region.
The city is located on the Atlantic Ocean coast at the Bouregreg River mouth. On the opposite shore of the river lies Salé city, the main town suburbs of Rabat. Rabat and Salé still hold an important textile, food processing and construction industries. In addition, tourism and the presence of all foreign embassies in Morocco serve to make Rabat one of the most important cities of the Kingdom.
Famous pirate heaven, Rabat has served as one of a number ports in North Africa for Berber pirates, who were particularly active in the 16th century.
Morocco Capital History
Rabat has a relatively recent history in comparison to the neighboring town of Salé. 1146 Abdel Moumen Almohad sovereign turned Rabat into a full scale fortress to use as a launching point for attacks on Iberia in 1170, because of its military importance, Rabat acquired the title Ribatou – El – Fath, which means “the fortress of victory,” from which it gets its current nomination.
Yacoub El Mansour (known as Yacoub El Victorio in Spain), another Almohad Caliph, moved the capital of his kingdom to Rabat. He built the city walls, Kasbah Oudayas and started construction on what would have been the largest mosque in the world. However Jacoub died and contruction stopped. The ruins of the unfinished mosque along with the Hassan tower are still standing today.
Jacoub’s ( Jacoub El Victorio) death has launched 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 displaced to Fez. In 1515 a Moorish explorer, El Wassan, reported that Rabat decreased so much that only 100 inhabited houses remained. A flow of Moors, who were expelled from Spain in the early 17th century helped boost the growth of Rabat.