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Tanger is a legendary city that was marked by the domination of the early Phoenicians, Berbers, Romans, Arabs and Europeans because of its strategic geographic position at the juncture of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Tanger served as a strategic location for Arab invasion of North Africa during the 8th century. It was ruled by the Idrissids before it fell into the hands of the Ommayads of Cordoba and afterwards became part of the Moroccan kingdoms. In the 15th century, Tangier became the site of a very prosperous trade center with Venice, Marseilles and Genoa. Between the 15th and 16th centuries, Tanger was captured by the Portuguese and the Spanish and in 1684, the Moroccans regained full control of Tanger. In the next 200 years, Tangier came again under the influence of the Europeans. In 1912, under the French protectorate, the future of Tanger was still a matter of controversy. On December 18 1923, Tanger was declared an international zone controlled by eight countries. Finally, as the move to unite Morocco intensified under the leadership of King Mohammed V during World War II, Tanger was finally restored to Morocco after its independence in 1956.
Tanger has been home to world famous artists such as Jacques Majorelle, Henri Matisse, Eugene Delacroix and Kees Van Dongen and well known authors such as Paul Bowles. It is also a popular tourist center that attracts millions of visitors each year and serves as an important crossing point for Moroccans returning from Europe. Important sightseeing include the Grand Socco (an open market place where merchants and peasant women sell goods) was renamed “Place du 9 Avril 1947” to commemorate the historic speech of King Mohammed V for Moroccan independence. The Petit Socco, the south gate of the old town bordered by cafes and old residences. The Great Mosque, built by Sultan Moulay Ismail to commemorate the withdrawal of English forces at the end of the 17th century. Rue de la Marine, the medina´s busiest alley. Many of our American travelers enjoy spending one or two nights as part of their Moroccan travel plans.
The American legation represents the US government´s first overseas acquisition and the only historical monument the US has owned abroad since the American declaration of independence. The American legation is also a site that features the history of US-Moroccan relations since 1777 and includes a correspondence between George Washington and Mohamed III. In recent years, many American travelers have asked us to include Tanger in their Morocco Travel Packages. The Kasbah that serves as Tangier´s Museum of Moroccan Arts features jewelry, carpets, silks and ceramics. The Marshan or the Forbes Museum features a collection of 115,000 military miniatures that include the world´s greatest battles such as the Battle of the Three Kings, Waterlo (1815), the Somme (1916) and Dien Bien Phu (1954). Boulevard Pasteur, or Tangier´s new town overlooks the media, the port, and the Straits of Gibraltar and features luxury shops and European style residential blocks. St Andrew Church, a 19th century Anglican Church, represents vestiges of early days. Today, many of our Morocco Travel Packages feature Tanger and other towns of this Northern region.