Sala Colonia

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Sala Colonia
Chella Rabat Morocco roman street.jpg
Roman street in Sala Colonia
Sala Colonia is located in Morocco
Sala Colonia
Shown within Morocco
Location Morocco
Region Rabat-Salé-Kénitra
Coordinates Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.

Sala Colonia, was a Roman city of Mauretania Tingitana.


The Phoenicians and the Carthaginians, who founded several colonies in Morocco, probably inhabited the banks of the Bou Regreg river,[1] where later the city of Sala was created by the Romans. The Roman town known as Sala Colonia was referred to as "Sala" by Ptolemy[2] and was located to the south of the river.

Roman carved stone in Latin inside Sala Colonia

Excavations show an important port city with ruined Roman architectural elements including a decumanus maximus or principal Roman way, a forum and a triumphal arch.[3] Sala was a center of Christianity since the second century.

One of the two main Roman roads in Morocco reached the Atlantic through Iulia Constantia Zilil (Asilah), Lixus (Larache) and Chellah. Another may have been built toward south, from Sala to modern Casablanca, then called Anfa. The Romans had two main naval ouposts on the Atlantic: Sala Colonia near modern Rabat and Lixus.

Sala remained linked to the Roman Empire even in the fourth century after the withdrawal of Roman legions to the area of Roman Tingis and Septem in northern Mauretania Tingitana: A Roman military unit remained there until the end of the fifth century. Some objects, including elements of Visigothic and Byzantine belt even attest to the persistence of commercial or political contacts between Sala and Roman Europe until the Byzantine presence in berber north Africa during the seventh century.[4]

The site slowly disappeared during the Middle Ages and was totally abandoned in 1154 AD in favour of nearby Salé. Many structures in Sala Colonia were damaged by the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. The site has been converted to a garden and tourist venue. Actually it is included in the metropolitan area of Rabat.

World Heritage Status

The site, as part of the metropolitan Rabat, was granted World Heritage Status in 2012. [5] [6] [7]

See also


  1. Justin McGuinness, Footprint Morocco, 2003, 560 pages, ISBN 1-903471-63-X
  2. Sala Colonia (in French)
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  4. Boube, J. "Éléments de ceinturon wisigothiques et byzantins trouvés au Maroc".Bulletin d'archéologie marocaine, volume=XV, 1983-84.pages=281-297
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External links