Morocco / Cities and Towns /
City in Morocco with 400,000 inhabitants (2003 estimate).
The Great Mosque in Sale, Morocco.
Salé is situated on the Atlantic Ocean, across the river Oued Bou Regreg, from the capital of Morocco, Rabat. Salé is today acting to a large extent as a suburb of Rabat, but is renowned for its beautiful and almost unspoiled old city. Of independent economic activity, Salé has an important port, and industries for flour milling, carpets, fish canning, cork processing and pottery.
1st century CE: The Romans establishes the Sala Colonia.
10th century: The area of Salé becomes capital of the strong tribe of Beni Ifren.
1163: Construction of the Great Mosque starts. The building process goes on for 21 years.
1260: The town is attacked by troops from Castille and Léon (in today's Spain). Shortly afterwards, the local Merenid rulers start to construct a fortified wall around the city.
1333: A madrasa is opened, and Salé grows into becoming one of the most important religious centres of Morocco.
1609: Salé is turned into a centre of corsair activity.
1627: The Republic of Salé is founded, and is the home of pirates. The republic only lasts a couple of years.
18th century: Activity is slowly turned away from piracy, and into craftsmanship.
1912: With the French protectorate, Rabat is made into capital, leaving little attention for Salé.
1957: The bridge between Rabat and Salé is opened.