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Tangier is a city in northern Morocco with a population of about 700,000 (2008 census).It lies on the North African coast at the western entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Spartel.It is the capital of the Tangier-Tetouan Region and of the Tangier-Assilah Prefecture within that region.The history of Tangier is very rich due to the historical presence of many civilizations and cultures starting from the 5th century BC.Between the period of being a Phoenician town to the independence era around the 1950s, Tangier was a place and sometimes a refuge for many cultures.However, it was not until 1923 that Tangier was attributed an international status by foreign colonial powers, thus becoming a destination for many Europeans, Americans and Indians alike.

The city is currently undergoing rapid development and modernization.Projects include new 5-star hotels along the bay, a modern business district called Tangier City Centre, a new airport terminal and a new soccer stadium.Tangier's economy is also set to benefit greatly from the new Tanger-Med port.Tangier's sport team IR Tanger is the main football club and has the most followers.Tangier will be one of the host cities for the 2015 African Nations Cup soccer championship, played at the new Ibn Batouta Stadium and in other cities in Morocco.

The modern Tanjah (Anglicised as Tangier) is an ancient Berber and Phoenician town, founded by Carthaginian colonists in the early 5th century BC.Its name is possibly derived from the Berber goddess Tinjis (or Tinga), and it remains an important city for the Berbers.Ancient coins call it Tenga, Tinga, and Titga with Greek and Latin authors giving numerous variations of the name.According to Berber mythology, the town was built by Sufax, son of Tinjis, the wife of the Berber hero Anti (Greek Antaios, Latin Antaeus).The Greeks ascribed its foundation to the giant Antaios, whose tomb and skeleton are pointed out in the vicinity, calling Sufax the son of Hercules by the widow of Antaeus. The cave of Hercules, a few miles from the city, is a major tourist attraction.It is believed that Hercules slept there before attempting one of his twelve labours.

Originally, the city was part of the larger province of Mauretania Caesariensis, which included much of Northern Africa.Later the area was subdivided, with the eastern part keeping the former name and the newer part receiving the name of Mauretania Tingitana.It is not known exactly at what period there may have been an episcopal see at Tangier in ancient times, but in the Middle Ages Tangier was a used as a titular see (i.e., an honorific fiction for the appointment of curial and auxiliary bishops), placing it in Mauretania Tingitana.For the historical reasons given above, one official list of the Roman Curia places the see in Mauretania Caesarea.The city also has the Anglican church of Saint Andrew.Certain is that towards the end of the 3rd century, Tangier was the scene of the martyrdom of Saint Marcellus of Tangier, mentioned in the Roman Martyrology on 30 October, and of St. Cassian, mentioned on 3 December.

How to Reach

By Air

The Ibn Batouta International Airport has been being expanded and modernized to accommodate more flights.The biggest airline at the airport is Royal Air Maroc.In addition, a TGV high-speed train system is being built.It will take a few years to complete, and will become the fastest train system in North Africa.

By Train

A railroad line connects the city with Rabat, Casablanca and Marrakech in the south and Fes and Oujda in the east.The service is operated by ONCF. The Rabat-Tanger expressway connects Tangier to Fes via Rabat (250 km), Settat via Casablanca (330 km) and Tanger-Med port.The Ibn Batouta International Airport (formerly known as Tangier-Boukhalef) is located 15 km south-west of the city centre.ONCF opened a new train station, Tanger Ville, in 2003, which is now the end of the line. While it's closer to the city center than Tanger Morora, the original end-of-the-line, it's still quite a long walk so take a petit taxi for 15dhs or so.

By Bus

Tangier has two long distance bus stations.The first, at the CTM offices near the port, is the arrival point of most CTM buses. Some other CTM buses, and those from other companies, arrive at the station on Place Jamia el-Arabia.

Key places to visit
The Kasbah Museum, The American Legation, Church of Saint Andrew, Tanjazz festivals


Places to Visit

Teatro Cervantes

rue Salah Eddine et Ayoubi.Closed and falling to pieces but take a photo from outside the gates as you pass by on the way up to the Grand Socco.

The Kasbah Museum

The former Sultan's palace deserves to be seen not only for it's collection of artefacts from the Phoenician to modern times, but also for the building and garden. There is a small fee for entrance (10 Moroccan Dirham or about $1USD) and varying opening times winter and summer.

The American Legation

The Tangier American Legation Museum (TALM), a thriving cultural center, museum, conference center and library in the heart of the old medina in Tangier, is housed in the only historic landmark of the United States located abroad. The museum exhibits a large collection of art and historical items. It also has a Paul Bowles Wing dedicated to the writer and composer who lived most of his adult life in Tangier.

Church of Saint Andrew

Is an Anglican church in Tangier, Morocco, consecrated in 1905.In 1880, Hassan I of Morocco donated land to the British community in order to build a small Anglican church in Tangier.After a church was built, it was found that it was not sufficient for the increasing number of worshippers, and a new one was built in 1894 which became the Church of Saint Andrew.It was consecrated in 1905.The interior is designed as a fusion of numerous styles, notably Moorish.The belltower, shaped like a minaret, overlooks the adjacent cemetery.Among the people buried in the church there is Emily Keene (1849–1944), the woman who allegedly introduced the cholera vaccine to Morocco. She was a British humanitarian who married the Shareef of Wazan, a local religious leader. She died in Tangier and there is a plaque in the western side of the church to commemorate her. Others include Sir Harry McLean (1848–1920), Paul Lund (1915–1966) and Walter Harris, (1866–1933), a British writer.

Tanjazz Festivals

Take advantage of a trip to Morocco to discover the unique ambiance of these events.Many concerts and film showings take place in historic settings, often outdoors.And the warmth of Moroccan evenings gives these events a very special atmosphere.A friendly atmosphere is guaranteed, like the one at the Timitar music festival in Agadir, and the Mawazine festival in Rabat, which has celebrated world music since 2001.

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