morocco again10 rabat ruins of chellah

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  • Fr Maxim Massalitin10

    Chroniclers relate that Chella played an important role in the conversion of the country to Islam during the Early Middle Ages. In the tenth century, a vast ribat was constructed there and served as a garrison, housing up to a hundred thousand warriors, armed to fight the Barghawata, a Berber tribe settled by the Atlantic coast. Under the Marinid dynasty, the town was reborn as a ribat-necropolis. Before being buried there himself in 1285, the sovereign Abu Yusuf Yaqub had an oratory built there and some funeraryqubba,one of which housed the remains of his wife, Umm al-Izz.Other sovereigns were interred there, the last being Abu al-Hasan. This latter enlarged the original core consisting of thekhaloua(funerary compound) and surrounded it with a second, pentagonal wall, flanked by oblong towers and adapted to the topography of the site. The wall is surmounted by a walkway protected by a parapet crowned with pyramidal merlons. Quadrangular towers fortify its courtines and give it a military aspect reminiscent of the contemporary fortifications at Taza or at Mansourah in Tlemcen. Three gates are built into the wall, and the one facing the Almohad fortifications of Rabat has a remarkable decor. Flanked by two canted towers in cut stone, it opens into a pointed horseshoe arch with radiating keystones, whose cornerstones are decorated with vegetal interlace and with an inscription in a rectangular frame. The gate is crowned with amuqarnasfrieze. A simple corridor covered with a vaulted clay brick vault allowed access to theribat.Abu Al-Hasan also ordered the construction of the hostelry situated in the west corner of the fortifications, planned around an enormous open courtyard, onto which square rooms covered with pendentive domes look out. Thisfunduqprovided board and lodging to visitors and pilgrims who came to pray beside the dynastic tombs. To the south-east of thekhalouais a bathing compound, one of the rare examples from the fourteenth century in Morocco. Rectangular in form, it follows the classic plan of an Islamic bath : a bent corridor leads to the changing-room (now destroyed), which gives onto a series of three vaulted rooms, the cold room, the warm room and the hot room. A hypocaust covered with cloister-arch vaults and a fireplace installed beneath the hot room provided heating for the compound as well as the hot water supply for the bathers.The son of Abu Al-Hasan, Abu Inan, had a madrasa built and the tombs of his predecessors embellished. Yet this revival was short-lived. TheMarinids reopened the necropolis of al-Qulla, Qbibat Bni Mrin, in Fes, and Chella was abandoned. In the seventeenth century the site was occupied by soldiers, and traces of their presence some graffiti images of boats are still visible on the great gate. After being invaded by the Sabbah tribe wishing to use it as a stash for the booty that they brought back from their forays into the region of Rabat, Chella was liberated in 1790 and its buildings were largely destroyed.*

  • The Chellah is a medieval fortified Muslim necropolis located in the metro area of Rabat, left side of the Bou Regreg estuary.The Phoenicians established a trading emporium at the site and called it "Sala. This was later the site of the ancient Roman colony of "Sala Colonia", in the Roman province of Mauretania Tingitana.UNESCOWorld Heritage Site

  • Mostly abandoned during the Almohad era, then rebuilt by the Marinids in the 13th century. The ruins of their medieval fortress are still extant. The Berber Almohads used the site as a royal burial ground. The Marinids made the site a holy necropolis, or chellah, and built a complex that included mosque, minaret, and royal tombs. UNESCOWorld Heritage Site

  • The Phoenicians were the first to settle on this sloping site above the Bou Regreg river, and the Romans took control in about AD 40, renaming the settlement Sala Colonia. Scattered stones from their city remain, but give little idea of its size or form.

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  • Sidney

  • Davide Cesare VenianiPart of the interior of the walled Chellah complex

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  • A group of storks have taken over the ruins. Theyve built nests on top of the prayer tower and on any tall structures: trees, crumbling walls, etc. Ruins of Chellah have become a storks paradise Sidney

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  • Abandoned in 1154, Sala Colonia lay deserted until the 14th century, when Merenid sultan Abou al-Hassan Ali built a necropolis on top of the Roman site and surrounded it with the defensive wall that stands today

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  • Washingtonia at Chellah, the medieval fortified Muslim necropolis

  • Marabout Tomb at the Chellah Necropolis. These structures were built for holy men who were encouraged to pray and study beside the royal necropolis

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  • Muslim necropolis

  • UNESCO

  • The tombof the Maranid ruler,Abu al-HasanAli ibn Othman, known as the Black Sultan

  • The tombof the Maranid ruler,Abu al-HasanAli ibn Othman, known as the Black Sultan

  • Internet The tombof the Maranid ruler,Abu al-HasanAli ibn Othman, known as the Black Sultan

  • Brugmansia (Angel's trumpets)

  • The Bassin aux AnguillesThe pond of the eels which, according to the legend, gives fertility to the women throwing eggshells or coins. The pond is fed by a spring where, says the legend, would live a fish in golden scales

  • Internet

    c.Beach&Beyond Travels*

  • In this quiet spot, childless women come and feed hard-boiled eggs to the grey eels that inhabit the pond, in the hope that ancient magic will one day bring them the gift of a son or daughter

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  • Ruins of amedievalmosque built by Abu Yusuf Yakub, the first sultan of Marinid, (who is buried at the site)

  • Red Ginger Alpinia Purpurata

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  • Cellah gardensChella is situated on the left bank of the Bou Regreg, four kilometres from the Atlantic coast

  • Plumbago auriculata(common namesblue plumbago,Cape plumbagoorCape leadwort)

  • Plumbago auriculata(nativeto South Africa)

  • The site has been converted to agardenand tourist venue

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  • Cellah ruins

  • Cellah ruins

  • Text: InternetPictures: Sanda Foioreanu Sanda Negruiu InternetCopyright: All the images belong to their authorsPresentation: Sanda Foioreanuhttps://plus.google.com/+SandaMichaelaSound: Moroccan music2016

    Almaghribia 01 & 08*

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    Chroniclers relate that Chella played an important role in the conversion of the country to Islam during the Early Middle Ages. In the tenth century, a vast ribat was constructed there and served as a garrison, housing up to a hundred thousand warriors, armed to fight the Barghawata, a Berber tribe settled by the Atlantic coast. Under the Marinid dynasty, the town was reborn as a ribat-necropolis. Before being buried there himself in 1285, the sovereign Abu Yusuf Yaqub had an oratory built there and some funeraryqubba,one of which housed the remains of his wife, Umm al-Izz.Other sovereigns were interred there, the last being Abu al-Hasan. This latter enlarged the original core consisting of thekhaloua(funerary compound) and surrounded it with a second, pentagonal wall, flanked by oblong towers and adapted to the topography of the site. The wall is surmounted by a walkway protected by a parapet crowned with pyramidal merlons. Quadrangular towers fortify its courtines and give it a military aspect reminiscent of the contemporary fortifications at Taza or at Mansourah in Tlemcen. Three gates are built into the wall, and the one facing the Almohad fortifications of Rabat has a remarkable decor. Flanked by two canted towers in cut stone, it opens into a pointed horseshoe arch with radiating keystones, whose cornerstones are decorated with vegetal interlace and with an inscription in a rectangular frame. The gate is crowned with amuqarnasfrieze. A simple corridor covered with a vaulted clay brick vault allowed access to theribat.Abu Al-Hasan also ordered the construction of the hostelry situated in the west corner of the fortifications, planned around an enormous open courtyard, onto which square rooms covered with pendentive domes look out. Thisfunduqprovided board and lodging to visitors and pilgrims who came to pray beside the dynastic tombs. To the south-east of thekhalouais a bathing compound, one of the rare examples from the fourteenth century in Morocco. Rectangular in form, it follows the classic plan of an Islamic bath : a bent corridor leads to the changing-room (now destroyed), which gives onto a series of three vaulted rooms, the cold room, the warm room and the hot room. A hypocaust covered with cloister-arch vaults and a fireplace installed beneath the hot room provided heating for the compound as well as the hot water supply for the bathers.The son of Abu Al-Hasan, Abu Inan, had a madrasa built and the tombs of his predecessors embellished. Yet this revival was short-lived. TheMarinids reopened the necropolis of al-Qulla, Qbibat Bni Mrin, in Fes, and Chella was abandoned. In the seventeenth century the site was occupied by soldiers, and traces of their presence some graffiti images of boats are still visible on the great gate. After being invaded by the Sabbah tribe wishing to use it as a stash for the booty that they brought back from their forays into the region of Rabat, Chella was liberated in 1790 and its buildings were largely destroyed.*

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    *c.Beach&Beyond Travels*

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    *Almaghribia 01 & 08*

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