The city is located on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the river Bou Regreg. On the facing shore of the river lies Salé, Rabat's bedroom community. In 2007, the estimated population of the two cities was 1.7 million. Unfortunately, silting problems have diminished the city's role as a port. Today Rabat and Salé are relatively important textile, food processing and construction industries.
In addition, tourism and the presence of all foreign embassies in Morocco serve to make Rabat the second most important city in the country after the larger and more economically significant Casablanca.
Third century BC - a settlement, known as Chellah begins on the banks of the Oued Bou Regreg river.
40 AD - Romans takes over Chellah and converted it to the Roman settlement of Sala Colonia.
250 AD - Romans abandones Chellah to Berber rulers.
1146 - the Almohad ruler Abd al-Mu'min turned Rabat's ribat into a full scale fortress to use as a launching point for attacks on Spain.
1170 - due to its military importance, Rabat acquired the title Ribatu l-Fath, meaning "stronghold of victory". from which it gets its current name.
12th century,Yaqub al-Mansur (known as Moulay Yacoub in Morocco - born 1160 and died January 23, 1199), another Almohad Caliph, moved the capital of his empire to Rabat. He built Rabat's city walls, the Kasbah of the Udayas 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, including the Hassan Tower, still stand today.
13th century, much of Rabat's economic power shifted to Fez.
17th century - An influx of Moriscos, who had been expelled from Spain, helped boost Rabat's growth.
1627 - Rabat and neighboring Salé united to form the Republic of Bou Regreg. 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 united Morocco in 1666.
The area of modern Morocco has been inhabited since Neolithic times, at least 8000 BC, as attested by signs of the Caspian culture, in a time when the Maghreb was less arid than it is today. Many scholars believe the Berber language probably arrived in North Africa around the same time as agriculture, and was adopted by the existing population. Modern genetic analyses (see the Genographic Project) have confirmed that along with the Berber and Arab groups; various other populations have contributed to the present-day population of Morocco; including Phoenicians, Sephardic Jews, and sub-Saharan Africans. The Berbers are also known as "Amazigh", or by their regional ethnic identity, such as Chleuh. In the classical period, Morocco was known as Mauretania, although this should not be confused with the modern country of Mauritania.
12th century BC: The Phoenicians, spreading out from the land known then as Canaan in the Eastern Mediterranean established trading posts along the north coast of Africa. The Phoenicians were essentially a maritime people, they were not interested in conquering or colonizing. The Phoenicians payed scant attention to he primitive berber tribes and poor agricultural land of the interior of Morocco. Traces if the Phoenician trading post can be found in Tangier(Tangis), Mellilia (Russadir), Chellah part of Rahat and Tamuda (near Tetouan).
7th century BC: Lixus was settled by the Phoenicians. Lixus was later conquered by Carthage. When Carthage fell to Ancient Rome, Lixus became a Roman imperial outpost.
683: The Arab invasion of Morocco faced strong resistance from local Berbers. After about a century of fierce battles with Berbers, the Arabs occupied Morocco. In response to the Arab Muslim rule, the berber found the small independent kingdom of Anfa (present day Casablanca) on the Atlantic coast of Morocco.
1269: The Merenids make Fez their new capital, at the expense of Marrakech. This marks the beginning of the greatest period of Fez, when many great buildings and monuments are erected during the following two centuries.
1437: The tomb of Idris 1 is located in Volubilis, and a tremendously popular cult finds its center there.
1500 - 1700
1515: The Portuguese build a military fortresses on the ruins of Anfa. The town that grew up around it was called "Casablanca", meaning "White House" in Portuguese.
1551: Fez is captured by the Saadians, and Marrakech becomes its capital.
1666: Following a period of unrest and poverty, Mulai Ismail Ibn Sharif takes control over Fez, and makes it his capital. Moulay Ismail began construction of an elaborate imperial palace and other monuments. At its peak, Moulay Ismail's empire included present day Algeria and Mauritania. Moulay Ismail is also known as a fearsome ruler. Moulay Ismail used at least 25,000 slaves for the construction of his capital. His Christian slaves from Western Europe were often used as bargaining counters with the European powers, selling them back their captured subjects for inflated sums or for rich gifts. Most of his slaves were obtained by Barbary pirates in raids on Western Europe.
1672-1727: Under the reign of Moulay Ismael; Morocco once again becomes a great country. He exchanged ambassadors with many leading Powers. Moulay Ismael selects Meknes as the imperial city which he made his capital.
1700 - 2000
1755: An earthquake destroyers most of Casablanca. The place build by Moulay Ismail is destroyed by the earthquake.
1757: Mohamed ben Abdellah a wise and strong Alaouite ruler came to the throne. He built the city of Essaouira. He invites the English, the French, and the jewish people to settle and to trade there. He rebuild Casablanca between 1756-1790.
1777: Morocco becomes the first nation, to recognize the fledgling United States as an independent nation.
1777, December 20: Morocco's Sultan declared that the American merchant ships would be under the protection of the sultanate and could thus enjoy safe passage (see Barbary Pirates).
1821: The Legation Building in Tangier became the first piece of property acquired abroad by the U.S. government. A gift to the U.S. from Sultan Moulay Suliman. It was bombarded by the French Prince de Joinville in 1844
1873: Moulay el hassan acceded to the throne. He had the task of pacifying the tribes and was the first monarch to enter the wild Souss Area, where the tribes never acknowledged the authority of the state.
1844: The French Navy bombarded and briefly occupies Essaouira.
1906: Morocco is internationalizing and placed under the protectorate of the French government by the Conference of Algeciras (in which 30 nations were present).
1912: Sultan Mulai Abd al-Hafiz signed the Treaty of FEZ giving up the sovereignty of Morocco to the French and Spainish, making the country a protectorate. The country was under the control of a French Resident-General called Lyauty. He rebuilds the ports of Casablanca and Kenitra, the new towns of Rabat, Fez, Meknes and Marrakech. A modern educational system was introduced, the administration was modernized and the legal system reformed. The tribes in the south of Morocco were still very rebellious.
1923: Tangier is made an international zone under the joint administration of France, Spain, and Britain, joined by Italy in 1928.
Monthly average highs and low temperatures and the average amount of precipitation for Rabat, Morocco. Data from Climate-data.org: Rabat.
The climate in Rabat-Salé is moderate during summer when temperatures tend to be in the low 80's and moderate during winter when temperatures tend to be in the 40's. The yearly mean is
The warmest month of the year is August with an average maximum temperature of 83.1° Fahrenheit, while the coldest months of the year are January and February with an average minimum temperature of 46° Fahrenheit.
Temperature variations between night and day tend to be moderate during the year with an average difference of between 17 to 19° Fahrenheit.
Rainfall varies throughout the year. The driest month of the year is July with an average rainfall of 0.00 inches. The wettest month is December with an average rainfall of 4.17 inches. The annual average precipitation in Rabat-Salé is 20.59 inches.
Morocco has two climatic zones. (1.) a Mediterranean climate in the north and central
areas that is characterized by warm wet winters and hot dry summers, similar to the climate found in much of California between Cape Mendocino and greater Los Angeles.
(2.) A semiarid climate similar to the climat fround in Colorado. Montana, Wyoming and most of
Utah in the United Sates. The semiarid climat of Morocco predominant in the pre-Sahara region. The wet seasons are from April to May and October to November with average
annual precipitation varying from 254 mm (10 inches) to 100 mm (4 inches) depending on the region. During summer the intensely hot and sometimes violent winds of the
Sahara Desert known as the Sirocco
or Chergui prevails.
Rain falls mainly during the winter months. Precipitation is heaviest in the northwest and lightest in the east and south. Average annual precipitation is about 38 inches
in Tangier, 17 inches in Casablanca, 11 inches in Essaouira, and less than 4 inches in the Sahara.
Hot-summer Mediterranean climate; coldest month averaging above 0 °C (32 °F) (or −3 °C (27 °F)), at least one month's average temperature above 22 °C (71.6 °F), and at least four months averaging above 10 °C (50 °F). At least three times as much precipitation in the wettest month of winter as in the driest month of summer, and driest month of summer receives less than 30 mm (1.2 in). [Ref]