Tetouan

Tetouan

Tétouan is a city in northern Morocco. The Berber name means literally "the eyes" and figuratively "the water springs". Is one of the two major ports of Morocco on the Mediterranean Sea. It lies a few miles south of the Strait of Gibraltar, and about 60 km E.S.E. of Tangier. In 2004 the city had 320,539 inhabitants (census figure).

Arabic is the official language but it is not used for everyday dialogue. The city has its own dialect, a particular citadin variant of non-Hilalian Arabic which is distinct from Jebli Arabic. However, Jebli Arabic is predominant since people from the neighboring rural areas settled in the city during the 20th century rural flights.The use of Spanish and French is still widespread especially by the businessmen and intellectual elites. Its main religion is Islam. A small Christian and jew minorities live in the city.

The city is situated about 60 km east of the city of Tangier and 40 km south of the Spanish exclave of Ceuta and the Strait of Gibraltar. It is in the far north of the Rif Mountains, situated in the middle of a belt of orchards that contain orange, almond, pomegranate and cypress trees.

It is picturesquely situated on the northern slope of a fertile valley down which flows the Martil river, with the harbour of Tetouan, Martil, at its mouth. Behind rise rugged masses of rock, the southern wall of the Anjera country, once practically closed to Europeans, and across the valley are the hills which form the northern limit of the still more impenetrable Rif. The streets are fairly wide and straight, and many of the houses belonging to aristocratic families, descendants of those expelled from Al-Andalus by the Spanish Reconquista, possess marble fountains and have groves planted with orange trees. Within the houses the ceilings are often exquisitely carved and painted in hispano-moresque designs, such as are found in the Alhambra of Granada, and the tile-work for which Tetuan is known may be seen on floors, pillars and dados.

The traditional industries are tilework, inlaying with silver wire, and the manufacture of thick-soled yellow slippers, much-esteemed flintlocks, and artistic towels used as cape and skirt by Arabic girls in rural areas.

The Jews lived in a mellah, separated from the rest of the town by gates which were closed at night.  

City Development Strategie of Tetouan