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Salé, the country's second-most-populated city, is a great place to experience unspoiled, hassle-free Moroccan culture. It was probably founded around the 11th century, and in medieval times became the premier trading harbor on this part of the Atlantic coast. At the beginning of the 17th century, it joined Rabat in welcoming Muslims expelled from Spain. The two were rivals for more than 100 years following this, but Rabat eventually gained the upper hand. Today Salé is rather shabby, but still an important cradle of Moroccan history. The medina alone is worth the journey both for its monuments and its authenticity. Expect to see more people in traditional dress or practicing traditional crafts than you would in most other Moroccan large-city medinas.

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