The four Imperial cities of Morocco are Rabat, Marrakech, Fez, and Meknes. Rabat has been the capital of Morocco since 1912. Fez, first capital in 808 CE, was the principal city of the Kingdom for no fewer than seven distinct periods until 1912. Marrakech was founded by the Almoravid dynasty in 1071 and was the Kingdom`s capital for much of the next two centuries. The Alaouite Sultan Ismail Ibn Sharif proclaimed Meknes his capital and ruled from that city for over 50 years in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. All four cities have royal palaces (`dar al-makhzen` in Arabic); the King of Morocco`s primary residence today is located in Rabat, and that specific royal palace is called El Mechouar Essaid, or `the venue of happiness`.
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