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Tangier, Morocco  City Info
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Africa > Morocco

Morocco, a vast stretch of land situated at the extreme west of the Maghreb Desert, owes its uniqueness to its unusual geographical situation. The plains, the mountains, the deserts, and a coastline which borders both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean have fortunately been inhabited by people who have taken great pride in their particular region. The geographical diversity of the area attracted the great conquerors, and the country became a melting pot of civilizations. Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, Andalusians and Africans all brought inestimable wealth to Morocco, both material and spiritual. Their legacy continues to contribute to the beauty and success of the region today.

Tangier is set between two worlds, belonging fully to neither, it can be compared to a doorway opening onto all dreams and possibilities.

This strategic location, however, has been coveted by European powers through the years. As a result, in 1923 Tangier became an international zone governed by a dozen diplomats along with a representative of the Sultan. Tangier prospered rapidly. Many adventurers, millionaires and artists settled there, as did modern "pirates" operating shadier enterprises.

Overlooking the Straits of Gibraltar with a view of Spain's southern coast, Tangier is set upon a spectacular bay and has been a magnet for travelers for centuries. Since independence, tourism has flourished. Attracted to the beauty of the setting and the mildness of the climate, wealthy Moroccans still chose Tangier as their holiday resort.

Today the city is primarily a shipping center. It is frequently on the itinerary of day-tripping tourists on package tours of Spain. Open-air markets throughout Morocco are piled high with rugs, woodwork, and jewelry. The country's main product is leather, which is said to be the softest in the world.

Tangier has been called the Gateway to Morocco and was designated as the country's summer capital by King Hassan II. In Tangier, a city of contrasts, the East comes together with the West in a colorful medley. Tangier is the ideal starting point for the traveler to Africa. An easy hop from Europe, it is a friendly, hectic and stimulating place to explore.

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