Morocco Tour Guide: Tetouan
Morocco Tour Guide: Tetouan Last updated on Thursday 22nd April 2010
Population: 200,000 (main city); 856,000 (est. including suburbs)
A lovely white Andalusian city set upon the Mediterranean Sea near Tangier, Tetouan traces its origins back to 3rd century B.C. Then it was a settlement called Tamouda which existed until 42A.D. when it was destroyed by Roman armies.
When the Merinid sultan Abu Thabit constructed a kasbah at Tetouan in 1307, the Muslim city began to find its form. However, as a refuge for Barbary pirates, Tetouan drew the wrath of the Castilian king Henry III whose forces overran the city and sacked it in 1399.
For a century thereafter Tetouan went into a period of decline until coming under the Andalucian influence of refugees from Granada. From 1484 the city took on some of the rich architectural and cultural character of Muslim Spain, traces of which can still be seen today.
In 1913 Tetouan became the capital of Spain's protectorate until independence in 1956.
Located in an agricultural area, modern Tetouan is a market centre for the surrounding area where grain, livestock, citrus fruit and handicrafts are traded.
In addition, a variety of goods are manufactured in and around the city, including tobacco, soap, matches, building materials and textiles. The town's principal industries are printing, cabinet-making and fish-canning.