Chellah- Shalla

About the place

  • Country : Morocco , Rabat

  • Address : on the western bank of Bou Regreg River

  • Category : Urban Facilities

  • Establishing Date : sixth century before Common Era




Chellah is one of the most important archaeological sites in Rabat. It dates back to the sixth century before Common Era (C.E.). It is the resting place of the sultans, which was sheltered by huge Almohad walls.

It is located on the southern bank of the Bouregreg River and consists of a Marinid funerary area on Roman and Phoenician ruins, and it is all fortified by walls.

The Phoenicians established a market there, and called it "Sala", then it became the site of the Roman colony known as "Sala Colonia".

In this area, there are ancient Roman buildings representing the Arc de Triomphe, the Forum, and the Roman Baths. The Bou Regreg estuary contributed to its emergence and prosperity and being have one of the most important springs of the region.

A tourist cannot pass by the Moroccan capital, Rabat, without visiting the Chellah region, which is considered the bride of the historical monuments in this city.

"Chellah" was at the beginning a necropolis for kings, then the sultans added external walls and an internal place of worship, which, despite the passage of more than 8 centuries, is still in good condition.

Historic Overview:

"Sala" was the name mentioned since the middle of the first century AD by some ancient writers and in archaeological documents, and the same name was previously used for the Bouregreg Valley. During the Islamic period, the name "Sala" became known to the current city of "Sala" located on the right bank of the Bou Regreg River, while this historical site was called "Chellah".

Architectural Description:

The remains of the shelters that used to shelter pilgrims and visitors rise in the western corner of the site. At the bottom, the ruins of the Marinid cemetery known as "Al khulwa" stand, which includes a mosque and a group of domes, the most important of which is the dome of the Sultan "Abi Al-Hassan" and his wife "Shams Al-Duha", and the school whose minaret covered with intertwined and integrated geometric decoration, remains an original example of the fourteenth-century Moroccan architecture.

On the southeastern side of the site, there is the bathroom distinguished by its semi-circular domes embracing four parallel rooms: the first one for dressing, the second is cold, the third is warm and the fourth is warmer.

As for the "Noon Basin", it is located on the southwestern side of "Al khulwa". It was mainly a hall for performing ablution in the "Abi Yusuf" Mosque, and the popular memory has created around it myths and legends that made it a place of pilgrimage to a broad group of residents of Rabat and its surroundings.


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