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Chellah, Morocco

Chellah (Or Shalla) is a medieval fortified town of Roman Mauretania ruins and Muslim necropolis located in the outskirts of Rabat, Morocco. It is south of Ville Nouvelle, on the left side of the Bou Regreg estuary. The city was abandoned in 1154 until a sultan in the XIV century revitalized it and built monuments and tombs. In actual days, Chellah has a garden and is a tourist venue. Made a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 2012, it is the most famous tourist attraction in Rabat. Learn more about its fascinating history. 

History

Chellah is one of the oldest human settlements in Morocco. It was founded in the 3rd century by Phoenician explorers, who established a trade emporium there, and later controlled by Carthaginian explorers. Back then it was known as Shalat.

Later, in 40 AC, the Romans would occupy the city and use it as a port. There are two versions for his story. One version tells they built nearby a city called Sala Colonia, referred only as Sala, and then incorporated Chellah. The other version says that they simply occupied the site and renamed it Sala Colonia. The fact is they were in Chellah as excavations show a port city with Roman architectural elements. The port of Chellah does not exist anymore but it was used by Roman commercial ships as a route to Anfa and the Mogador Island. The city was a centre of Christianity until the 2nd century, and even after the Romans had lost the city to Berber tribes it continued linked to the empire as a Roman military unit continued there until the V century. 

Around 250 AC the Berbers conquered the city and the Romans lost control over it. It became a city of Christianized Berbers. When the Arab Muslim arrived in the Chellah is one of the oldest human settlements in Morocco. It was founded in the 3rd century by Phoenician explorers, who established a trade emporium there, and later controlled by Carthaginian explorers. Back then it was known as Shalat.

Later, in 40 AC, the Romans would occupy the city and use it as a port. There are two versions for his story. One version tells they built nearby a city called Sala Colonia, referred only as Sala, and then incorporated Chellah. The other version says that they simply occupied the site and renamed it Sala Colonia. The fact is they were in Chellah as excavations show a port city with Roman architectural elements. The port of Chellah does not exist anymore but it was used by Roman commercial ships as a route to Anfa and the Mogador Island. The city was a centre of Christianity until the 2nd century, and even after the Romans had lost the city to Berber tribes it continued linked to the empire as a Roman military unit continued there until the V century. 

Around 250 AC the Berbers conquered the city and the Romans lost control over it. It became a city of Christianized Berbers. When the Arab Muslim arrived in the 

Visiting Chellah

Very differently from what it must have looked in the past, Chellah now enjoys calm tourist days and contains a beautiful garden where flowers and many trees grow, including fig and olive. Visitors can expect to spend from 1h to 3h in the Very differently from what it must have looked in the past, Chellah now enjoys calm tourist days and contains a beautiful garden where flowers and many trees grow, including fig and olive. Visitors can expect to spend from 1h to 3h in the