The Royal Palace and the Medina – Tétouan, Morocco

The old walled part of the town, known as the medina, is on the World Heritage List. It's all very traditional and there are markets or craftsmen around every corner. A good guide puts it all into context and ours, Mohammed, was full of information and very open about life, religion and history. The video opens with a view of the Royal Palace, and one of the entrances to the medina leads off the public square in front of it. There is a separate video of the Berber Co-Operative which sells handmade carpets and rugs.The city was founded in the 3rd century BC. Around 1305 a city was built here by the Marinid king Abu Thabit. It served as a base for attacks on Ceuta. Around 1400 it was destroyed by the Castilians, because pirates used it for their attacks. By the end of the 15th century it was rebuilt by refugees from the Reconquista (reconquest of Spain, completed by the fall of Granada in 1492), when the Andalusian Moors first reared the walls and then filled the enclosure with houses. It had a reputation for piracy at various times in its history. It was taken on 4 February 1860 by the Spaniards and almost transformed by them into a European city before its evacuation on 2 May 1862, but so hateful were the changes to the Moors that they completely destroyed all vestiges of alteration and reduced the city to its former state. In 1913 it became the capital of the part of Morocco under Spanish protectorate which was governed by the Jalifa (Moroccan prince, serving as Viceroy for the Sultan, and the Spanish "Alto Comisario" accredited to him). When Si Ahmed Belbachir Haskouri appeared in the political scene, as the Chief of the Khalifien cabinet, he enforced the delegated powers of the caliph and, at the same time, caused the power of the Spanish Commissioner to be diminished by political manoeuvers. Tétouan remained the capital of Spanish Morocco until 1956. Many people in the city still speak Spanish. Tétouan became part of the independent state of Morocco when it was founded out of French Morocco and most of Spanish Morocco in 1956. It has also been home to an important Sephardi Jewish community, which immigrated from Spain after the Reconquista and the Spanish Inquisition.