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Tétouan

380 787 habitants (2014)
flag Morocco Morocco
  • Mayor : Dr. Mohamed Idaomar
  • Region : Province de Tétouan
  • Website : www.tetouan.ma

Tétouan is a town in the Moroccan North-West, province of Tétouan, one of the eight prefectures that make the region Tangier-Tétouan-Al Hoceima, and the second city in the region Tangier-Tétouan behind Tangier. Located in the North-West extremity of Morocco, next to the Strait of Gibraltar, 65 km away from the harbour of Tangiers and around 40 km away from Sebta Spanish enclave, it is bounded by two mountains, Dersa in the North and Ghorghiz in the South, and crossed by the Oued Martil River, before pouring into the Mediterranean Sea. With 380 787 inhabitants in 2014, it is the second municipality in the region Tangier-Tétouan-Al Hoceima and 10% of the population of this region. The city is the centre of an urban community that gathers 29 municipalities with a total population of 760 271 inhabitants (province of Tétouan and province M’diq-Fnideq). Created in 1982, the University Abdelmalek Esaâdi sits in Tétouan. 12 faculties are affiliated with the university, divided between the cities of Tétouan, Martil, Tangiers and Larachen with 3 out of 8 that have a scientific or technical major in Tétouan, notably the National School of Applied Sciences of Tétouan. The city also has the national institute of fine arts and the national school of architecture of Tétouan.

Its privileged situation in the province of Tetouan, its diversified relief uniting beaches, mountains and forests, as well as its climate and assimilation in History, are many of the assets that make it a great site for commercial, ecological, cultural and seaside tourism. The city of Tétouan has the international airport Saniat R’mel that has at its disposal a 2300 m long and 45 m wide runway, with a stationing area of 22 250 square m and an air terminal of 1200 square m for a capacity of 300 000 passengers per year. The medina of Tétouan is on the list of the UNESCO World Heritage. It is, according to specialists, the most beautiful medina in Morocco. The main elements of the medina are the ramparts that surround the city, which date from the end of the 15th century. These ramparts give way to 7 entrances that are: Bab El Oqla, Bab Saaida (to the East), Bab Mqabare and Bab Sefli (to the North), Bab Nouader (to the West), BaBab Remouz (to the South). Within the city, narrow streets are picturesque and full of people. The main districts that were in the original medina are: Laayoune, Essania, Trankat, Rbat Aala, Bled, Rbat Asfal and Mellah.

The houses of the medina as well as public buildings are well preserved and have been served with drinkable water through a pipes grid from the sources of the city. This grid is called Skundu, from the Spanish Segundo, was developed by Ali Al Mandari himself, who built the city along a line of sources coming into being at the foot of Jbel Dersa. It supplied all the houses as well as public fountains, mosques, hammams etc. Apart from the Tetouan houses, many mosques, zawiyas and public places can be visited.

Places: El Feddane (the heart of the city), Ghersa El Kebira (many different shops), El Usâ (little picturesque place)

Streets: Tarrafine (Jewellery)

Mosques: Al Jamaa Al Kabir (the great mosque)

Traditional schools: Madrasat Lukach

Souks: Mesdaa (spices, cheese), Saquia El Fouquia (clothes)

The area of El Ensanche is the first extension of the city outside its walls during the period of the Spanish protectorate. Registered as national heritage, it represents the typical architectural style of this protectorate by materialising the three historical periods of Spanish society: traditional architecture 1917-31, Republican 1931-36 and Francoist 1936-56. Tetouan also has an archaeological museum, an ethnographic museum, the museum of Resistance and a contemporary art museum.

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