Necropolis of Chellah, Chella or Sala (Arabic: شالة) is a necropolis and complex of ancient and medieval ruins that lie on the outskirts of Rabat, Morocco’s Ville Nouvelle, or modern section.
The site of Chellah is doubtless the most ancient human settlement on the mouth of the Bou Regreg river.
The Phoenicians and the Carthaginians, who founded several colonies in Morocco, probably inhabited the banks of the Bou Regreg. Chellah contains the remains of a Roman town known as Sala Colonia and referred to as Sala by Ptolemy. Excavations show an important port city town with uncovered remains including the Decumanus Maximus, or principal way, were discovered, as well as those of a forum, a monumental fountain, a triumphal arch, and other Roman ruins.
The site was abandoned in 1154 in favor of nearby Salé. The Almohad dynasty used the ghost town as a necropolis. In the mid-14th century, a Merinid sultan, Abu l-Hasan, built several monuments and the imposing main gate (dated to 1339). These later Merinid additions included a mosque, a zawiya, and royal tombs, including that of Abu l-Hasan.
Many of the structures in Chellah were damaged or destroyed in an 18th century earthquake.
The site has been converted to a garden and is now a tourist attraction.