Tangier is a city in northwestern Morocco. It is on the Maghreb coast at the western entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar, where the Mediterranean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Spartel. The town is the capital of the Tanger-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region, as well as the Tangier-Assilah prefecture of Morocco.
Many civilisations and cultures have influenced the history of Tangier, starting from before the 10th century BCE. Between the period of being a strategic Berber town and then a Phoenician trading centre to Morocco’s independence era around the 1950s, Tangier was a nexus for many cultures. In 1923, it was considered as having international status by foreign colonial powers and became a destination for many European and American diplomats, spies, bohemians, writers and businessmen.
The city is undergoing rapid development and modernisation. Projects include tourism projects along the bay, a modern business district called Tangier City Center, an airport terminal, and a football stadium. Tangier’s economy is set to benefit greatly from the Tanger-Med port.
Guarding the Strait of Gibraltar, Tangier has for centuries been Europes’s gateway to Africa. Its blend of cultures and influences is unique in Morocco – for much of its history it wasn’t even governed by Morocco.
Tangier has always carried a slightly seedy allure, in part because of its time as a semi-independent international zone that attracted eccentric foreigners, artists and spies. Officially sanctioned neglect later gave it a dismal reputation, and visitors were often quick to flee its sleaze and hustle.
Contemporary Tangier could hardly be more different. Investment has flowed in and the white city gleams with an air of confidence. The corniche bustles, entrepreneurs in the new business district have replaced the hustlers, and a new marina is under construction, along with the new TGV train line to Casablanca. Tangier’s cultural life is buzzing in a way it hasn’t done since the 1950s.
Stroll the streets of « the White »Tangier, they are lined with lime-coated houses. Just like Delacroix or Matisse did their upon arrival, let yourself be carried away by the dreamy atmosphere that covers the city. At the foot of the high walls of the “Kasbah”, roam through the alleys of the great “Socco”, and admire the fortress that dominates the medina. A little far away, explore the “Sultan’s Palace” which is nowaydays dedicated to the arts of Morocco. Tangier is alsos renowned for the Spanish influence on its culture, starting with the arena that stands on the “Plaza de Torros”, not to mention the “Cervantes” theatre built in 1913.