City (pop., 1994: city, 623,457; Rabat-Salé metro. area, 1,385,872), capital of Morocco. It is situated on the Atlantic coast at the mouth of the Bou Regreg River, opposite Salé. One of Morocco's four imperial cities, it was founded in the 12th century by a ruler of the Almohad dynasty, aynAbd al-Muhamzahmin, as a ribātsubdot (camp) quartering troops for his holy war against Spain. After 1609 the unified community of Rabat-Salé became the home of large numbers of Andalusian Moors who had been driven from Spain and, later, of the Sallee Corsairs, the most dreaded of Barbary Coast pirates. Under the French, it was made the administrative capital of a French protectorate after 1912. Now a centre of the textile industry, it is noted for its carpets, blankets, and leather handicrafts.
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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.