Rabat (Tamazight: ⴰⵕⴱⴰⵟ Arbat, Arabic الرباط, DMG ar-Ribat, fortified place ') is since 1956 the capital of Morocco with the seat of government and residence of the king; at the same time the city is the capital of the Rabat-Salé-Kénitra region. Rabat is located on the Atlantic coast on the southern shore of Bouregreg, opposite the neighboring town of Salé. The metropolitan area (wilaya) Rabat-Sale is divided into four prefectures, the prefecture Rabat includes a überbautes area with the administrative and commercial center. Rabat is adjacent to Fez, Meknes and Marrakech, one of the four imperial cities of Morocco. The name comes from an Islamic frontier fort (Ribat), built the Zanata Berbers in the 10th century at the mouth of the Bouregreg. In the 12th century the Almohad could expand the Ribat a fortified city (Kasbah), which remained an important trading town in the 19th century and in competition with Salé. In the 17th century the independent pirate republic Bouregreg ensured an economic boom and the Iberian Peninsula immigrant Andalusian for population growth. With the beginning of the French protectorate in 1912 Rabat headquarters of the General Resident. Since the millennium the Oued Bouregreg, the large-scale Bab el-Bahr project with which the previously uninhabited riverbanks should be made into a cultural center is being built.