The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







(Redirected from Tetouan)


Tétouan (Arabic: Titwan or Tittawen ( It means the eyes in the Berber language)) is the capital and cultural centre of the region Tanga (Tangiers) in the north of Morocco. In 2003 the city had about 320,000 inhabitants.

The city is situated about 40kms east of the city of Tangiers and not so far from Sebta (Ceuta) and the Strait of Gibraltar, either. It is in the far north of the Rif Mountains. To the south and west of the city there are mountains.

History of Tétouan

The city was founded in the 3rd century BC. Artefacts from both the Roman and the Phoenician era have been found.

Around 1305 a city was built here by the Merinid king Abu Thabit . It served as a base for attacks on Ceuta. Around 1400 it was destroyed by the Spanish, because pirates used it for their attacks. By the end of the 15th century it was rebuilt by refugees from the reconquista (reconquest of Spain).

The city is situated in the area of Morocco which was formerly ruled by Spain. In 1913 it became the capital of the Spanish part of Morocco, and it remained its capital until 1956. Many people in the city still speak Spanish. On road signs often names are written both in Spanish and in Arabic, through many signs are in Arabic and French, Morocco's second language. Tétouan became part of the independent state of Morocco when it was founded out of French Morocco and most of Spanish Morocco in 1956.

Tétouan has also been home of an important Jewish community, which immigrated from Spain after the reconquista and the Spanish Inquisition. The Jewish community spoke Ladino. Some of them emigrated later to Oran, South America and much later to Israel, France and Canada. There are very few Jews left in Tétouan nowadays.

Sights in and around Tétouan

  • medina
    • The medina (old town) of Tétouan is on the World Heritage List of the UNESCO. The inner city is very characteristic and traditional. One can find many white houses here, only low houses. Everywhere in the city there are people performing their craftsmanship, like weavers, jewellers, leather workers. They often try to sell carpets to tourists as well. Also, one sees a lot of animals on the streets of the medina.
  • The royal palace in Tétouan is situated just outside and by one of the entrances to the medina. There is a public square in front of it.

External links

Last updated: 05-17-2005 23:33:10