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Many civilisations and cultures have influenced the history of Tangier, starting from before the 5th century. Between the period of being a strategic Berber town and then a Phoenician trading centre to the independence era around the s, Tangier was a nexus for many cultures. In , it was considered as having international status by foreign colonial powers and became a destination for many European and American diplomats, spies, writers and businessmen.

The city is currently undergoing rapid development and modernisation. Projects include new tourism projects along the bay, a modern business district called Tangier City Centre, a new airport terminal, and a new football stadium. Tangier's economy is also set to benefit greatly from the new Tanger-Med port. It is also sometimes known as Boughaz. The Greeks knew this town as Tingis and, with some modification , record the Berber legends of its founding. Supposedly Tinjis , daughter of Atlas and widow of Antaeus , slept with Hercules and bore him the son Syphax. After Tinjis' death, Syphax then founded the port and named it in her honour.

Tingis came under the control of the Roman ally Mauretania during the Punic Wars.

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Tingis received certain municipal privileges under Augustus and became a Roman colony under Claudius , who made it the provincial capital of Mauretania Tingitana. Probably invited by Count Boniface , who feared war with the empress dowager , [15] tens of thousands of Vandals under Gaiseric crossed into North Africa in and occupied Tingis [16] and Mauretania as far east as Calama.

When Boniface learned that he and the empress had been manipulated against each other by Aetius , he attempted to compel the Vandals to return to Spain but was instead defeated at Calama in The conquest of the Maghreb and Spain had, however, been undertaken principally as raids for slaves and plunder and the caliphate's leadership continued to treat all Berbers as pagans or slaves for tax purposes , even after their wholesale conversion to Islam.

Inspired by the egalitarian Kharijite heresy, Barghawata and others under Maysara al-Matghari seized Tangier in the summer of An enraged Caliph Hisham ordered an attack from a second army "whose beginning is where they are and whose end is where I am" but this was defeated at Bagdoura the next year. The Shia Arab refugee Idris arrived at Tangier [31] before moving further south, marrying into local tribes around Moulay Idriss and assembling an army that, among its other conquests , took Tangier c.

The Fatimid caliph Abdullah al-Madhi began interfering in Morocco in the early 10th century, prompting the Umayyad emir of Cordova to proclaim himself caliph and to begin supporting proxies against his rivals. Yusuf ibn Tashfin captured Tangier for the Almoravids in Like Ceuta, Tangier did not initially acknowledge the Marinids after the fall of the Almohads. The next century was an obscure time of rebellions and difficulties for the city. During this time, the great Berber traveler Ibn Battuta was born in Tangier in , leaving home at 20 for the hajj.

When the Portuguese started their colonial expansion by taking Ceuta in retribution for its piracy [16] in , [34] Tangier was always a major goal.

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They failed to capture it in , , and , [31] but occupied it unopposed on 28 August after its garrison fled upon learning of the conquest of Asilah. In the 17th century, it passed with the rest of Portugal's domains into Spanish control as part of the personal union of the crowns [4] but maintained its Portuguese garrison and administration. English Tangier , fully occupied in January , [37] was praised by Charles as "a jewell of immense value in the royal diadem " [16] despite the departing Portuguese taking away everything they could, even—according to the official report—"the very fflowers, the Windowes and the Dores".

The English took advantage of the respite to greatly improve the Portuguese defenses. Incompetence, waste, and outright fraud and embezzlement caused costs to swell; among those enriched was Samuel Pepys. An attempt by Sultan Moulay Ismail of Morocco to seize the town in was unsuccessful; but longstanding exasperation with the colony's finances [45] and a crippling blockade by Jaysh al-Rifi [ citation needed ] pushed Parliament to write off the effort in Ali ibn Abdallah and his son Ahmed ibn Ali served in turn as the town's governors until , repopulating it with Berbers from the surrounding countryside.

The Spanish attacked the city in [14] but the city grew until, by , its population reached 5, From the 18th century, Tangier served as Morocco's diplomatic headquarters. In , Great Britain blockaded the port in retaliation for piracy. Italian revolutionary hero Giuseppe Garibaldi lived in exile at Tangier in late and the first half of , following the fall of the revolutionary Roman Republic.

Tangier - Wikipedia

Tangier's geographic location made it a cockpit of European diplomatic and commercial rivalry in Morocco in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Algeciras Conference which ended the standoff left Tangier's police training and customs collections in international hands [49] but Britain's strong support of its " Entente Cordiale " with France ended German hopes concerning Morocco.

Improved harbour facilities were completed in , with an inner and outer mole. Of the Europeans, about three-quarters were Spanish artisans and labourers. The last Sultan of independent Morocco, Moulay Hafid , was exiled to the Sultanate Palace in the Tangier kasbah after his forced abdication in favour of his brother Moulay Yusef. Tangier was made an international zone in under the joint administration of France, Spain and Britain under an international convention signed in Paris on 18 December Ratifications were exchanged in Paris on 14 May In July the protecting powers met at Rabat to discuss the Zone's future, agreeing to abolish it.

Tangier joined with the rest of Morocco following the restoration of full sovereignty in Still basking in the Zone's countercultural glow and close by the kif -producing Rif Mountains , Tangier formed part of the hippie trail of the s and '70s. Among other improvements, the beach was cleaned and lined with new cafes and clubs ; the new commercial port means cruise ships no longer unload beside cargo containers. The eastern hill forms Cape Malabata , [13] sometimes mooted as the point for a strait crossing. Historically, the city proper within the medina "Old Town" was divided into 14 districts based upon the Berber clans who resettled Tangier after the departure of the English.

The current prefecture is divided administratively into the following: [68]. Tangier is Morocco's second most important industrial centre after Casablanca.


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The industrial sectors are diversified: textile , chemical , mechanical , metallurgical and naval. Currently, the city has four industrial parks of which two have the status of free economic zone see Tangier Free Zone. Tangier's economy relies heavily on tourism. Seaside resorts have been increasing with projects funded by foreign investments. Real estate and construction companies have been investing heavily in tourist infrastructures.

The years and were particularly important for the city because of the completion of large construction projects; these include the Tangier-Mediterranean port " Tanger-Med " and its industrial parks, a 45,seat sports stadium, an expanded business district, and a renovated tourist infrastructure. Its site plays a key role in connecting maritime regions, as it is in a very critical position on the Strait of Gibraltar, which passes between Europe and Africa.

It has also helped connect Morocco to countries in the Mediterranean, Africa, and America. The port has allowed Tangier to become a more globalised city with new international opportunities that will help facilitate economic growth.


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  • Agriculture in the area of Tangier is tertiary and mainly cereal. The city is chiefly famed for tangerines , a kind of mandarin orange hybrid first grown in the orchards then once south of the medina , but it was never commonly exported. As early as , local consumption had already outstripped supply and required imports from Tetuan and elsewhere. Artisanal trade in the medina "Old City" specialises mainly in leather working , handicrafts made from wood and silver, traditional clothing, and Moroccan-style shoes.

    The city has grown quickly due to rural exodus from other smaller cities and villages.

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    The population is more than three-times larger than 32 years ago Most of it dates to the town's Portuguese occupation, with restoration work later undertaken at different times. Railway lines connect Tanger-Ville railway station with Rabat , Casablanca and Marrakesh in the south, and with Fes and Oujda in the east. The service is operated by ONCF. In November Africa's first high-speed train, the Kenitra—Tangier high-speed rail line , was inaugurated, linking Tangier to Casablanca in 2 hours and By improvements between Casablanca and Kenitra are planned to further reduce the journey to 1 hour and 30 minutes.

    Moller—Maersk Group and will free up the old port for tourist and recreational development. Tangier's Ibn Batouta International Airport and the rail tunnel will serve as the gateway to the Moroccan Riviera, the littoral area between Tangier and Oujda. Traditionally, the northern coast was a rural stronghold, with some of the best beaches on the Mediterranean.

    It is slated for rapid urban development. The Ibn Batouta International Airport has been modernised to accommodate more flights. The biggest airline at the airport is Royal Air Maroc. Tangier offers four types of education systems: Arabic, French, Spanish and English. Each offers classes starting from pre-Kindergarten up to the 12th grade, as for German in the three last years of high school. The Baccalaureat , or high school diploma are the diplomas offered after clearing the 12 grades. Many universities are inside and outside the city. Universities like the Institut Superieur International de Tourisme ISIT , which grants diplomas, offer courses ranging from business administration to hotel management.

    The institute is one of the most prestigious tourism schools in the country. There are more than a hundred Moroccan primary schools , dispersed across the city. Very good too! It's a bit quieter and the stone walls are impressive.


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    • You can't go wrong with any of the cocktails especially the tangerine cello. The roast chicken is a staple and always delicious. Worth every minute! Pret A Manger.

      Try it. Caffe Lavazza. Delicious blend of gelato and espresso! This hot chocolate is thick enough to lightly cover a spoon.