Tangier, in the north of Morocco, in the western part of the Rif, in the Strait of Gibraltar, is an ancient city that was dominated by various peoples throughout history, and declared an international city for much of the half century XX. Today is the economic and administrative capital of the northern region of Morocco, and an important and cosmopolitan business center. Multicultural enclave of Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities, Tangier became an obligatory stop for artists seeking the light colors and offers its surroundings.
In the 1940s and 1950s, while the city was an international zone, he served as a haven for artists, area spree for eccentric millionaires, meeting place for secret agents and all kinds of crooks, a Mecca for speculators and swindlers, an El Dorado for lovers of the good life.
As attractions we should not miss the Medina, the Great Mosque and the Museum Dar El Mandoub; in the surrounding area we can see places of great interest as Hercules Caves and Cap Spartel.
The Big Market :
It is a big market, located right in the heart of Tangiers, northeast of the Medina. Today, the square is not larger than the market. It’s more like a crossroads, surrounded by cafes, all in the outer part of the city, behind the walls.
This is the real heart of Tangiers and a great place to start a tour of the city, is the point where the old town and the modern meet. The streets suddenly become narrow when you enter the heart of the city of Tangier. This area is usually full of snake charmers, musicians, storytellers, but now it’s more of a gathering place for many taxis.
This area offers a diverse range of cultures, languages, religions … This is where the sultan Mohammed V made his famous speech referring to independence of Morocco on April 9, 1947.
The Great Souk is a dynamic mix of contrasts, shapes and lifestyles, architecture, styles of homes, is a colorful meeting point of old and new, past and present, it is the old part of the city flanked by the modernity.
The Kasbah :
The Kasbah is another place of great interest to the west of the Medina. It is the Dar el Makhzen, former Governor’s palace built by order of Moulay Ismail in the seventeenth century, current home of the Museum of Moroccan Arts whose rooms are set around a courtyard decorated with beautiful tiles and where you can admire objects from all over Morocco, carpets, jewelry, ceramics, textiles and others.
Next to it is the Dar es-Shorfa, palace that houses the Museum of Antiquities where some of the archaeological finds from the region of Volubilis are exposed.
A scant half kilometers from the ramparts of the Kasbah of Tangier is the Punic-Roman necropolis of Marchan, which contains 98 tombs. Aaquí were found Punic and Roman artifacts different tools from different eras and lead sarcophagi or a child remains in an urn.
The Great Mosque of Tanger :
It was occupied by several civilizations for generations. It is believed that this ancient mosque was occupied by the Romans, since in her Capitol several remains were found, and its ancient temple dedicated to Hercules.
He was also occupied by the Portuguese during the Portuguese occupation at that time was the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit. In the late nineteenth century, the building was reconstructed creating mosque Alawite kind we see today.
Cape Spartel :
This wonderful place, the Cape Spartel (Cap Spartel) is located 14 kilometers west of Tangier, in the north-western coast of Africa, the end is one of the places to visit if you’re passing through Tangier. Next to Cape Malabata are the two ends near the city.
This place is special because in it the waters of the Mediterranean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean and. You can enjoy a beautiful view where it joins the turquoise Atlantic Ocean and the deep blue of the Mediterranean Sea. Espartel formerly was known as the Cape or Cape Ampelusia of the Vines. In it we see the famous lighthouse built in 1865 by the diplomatic corps of Tanger.
The journey from Tangiers to this place is very nice, with beaches and forests on the sides. Thanks to the high humidity in the atmosphere its surroundings are very leafy and covered mainly rockrose and cork trees where birdwatchers can enjoy the bands of migratory birds heading to Europe or returning to Africa from there .
The beach that surrounds this place is called Plage Robinson, and you can enjoy an aperitif in it, as there are several terraces and a seafood restaurant.
Caves of Hercules :
Hercules Caves are located about 5 kilometers from the famous Cape Spartel and about 17 kilometers from the center of the city of Tanger. These caves are the first tourist destination of Tangier. The beauty of the place, their archaeological value and the mythological load it one of the most unusual places. It’s amazing how water erosion has drawn on its rocks the map of Africa.
It is unknown how these caves originated, though popular belief tells that result from an ancient civilization that built as protection leveraging the work that had already made the erosion of wind and sea.
The entrance to the caves, is facing the Atlantic and are flooded during high tides, with impressive waves and water movements in the cave when the tide rises, waves and floods of water in motion the cave.
The views of the Strait of Gibraltar from inside the caves are impressive, especially the colors, the blue Atlantic Ocean and sky, form a unique contrast.
According to Greek mythology, Hercules found here rest after completing his 12 labors. Legend has it that sThis demigod crossed the Strait of Gibraltar separating the mountains and giving rise to one side of Jebel Tarik (Gibraltar) and the African side, the Jbel Moussa. Conventional wisdom tells us that they were built by an ancient civilization to protect themselves. In fact, their lives remain a mystery. Some people say that the caves communicate with St. Michael in Gibraltar, but has never been demonstrated.
Swimming here can be dangerous due to strong currents, if not an experienced swimmer, you are advised not to venture into the sea at this location.
Just 500 meters away, you can visit the Roman ruins of Cotta dating from II and III century AD Have a great archaeological value because of the remains of a temple, spas, farms, oil mills and factories of garum (a sauce made from fermented fish entrails).
|Languages spoken||Arabic, French, and Spanish usual, Portuguese, Italian and English|
|Currency used||Moroccan Dirham (MAD)|
|Area (km2)||254.5 square kilometers|