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Chellah Ruins

Chellah Ruins
Rabat, Morocco
September 11, 2007

Gate to Chellah Ruins.

These crumbled, overgrown ruins are what remain of the Roman outpost of Sala Colonia and the Merenid town of Chellah. It is said that the Phoenicians were the first to settle in this arid land. The Romans came in 40AD and built a thriving little outpost city, which was to last until the Berbers took over. The city was left to rot in 1154 when everyone move shop down river to the Sale on the coast. But over a hundred years later interest was again taken in this area and walled fortifications and towers were built upon the Roman ruins, which was called Chellah.

I found this little skeleton of a city to be remarkably tranquil. It stands on a high bank over the Oued Bou Regreg river and has a clear view of the surrounding countryside. I just walked around this little enclosure taking photographs with my imagination transplanted a thousand years in the past. There was a gentle breeze and I found that women still go to a little pool within the ruins to feed boiled eggs to eels in order to ensure fertility and a smooth childbirth.

Roman bath.

Tower with a stork’s nest on the top. The Chellah ruins have been over run by storks and their nests are on top of nearly every high structure.

The videos below are of the Chellah ruins and the ancient pool where women feed hard boiled eggs to the eels in hopes of fertility and an easy childbirth.

Women feeding eggs to eels with cats watching on.

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Filed under: Africa, Archaeology, Beaches, Morocco

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 80 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3161 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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