Ceuta, Spanish Morocco, Spain

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Main port photo for Ceuta, Spanish Morocco, Spain

The Straits of Gibraltar separate Ceuta from European Spain. Ceuta is an ancient city - it has been continuously inhabited since its founding by Carthage in the 5th century B.C. Over the millennia, Ceuta has been ruled by Carthage, Rome, the Moorish Kingdom of Granada, Portugal and, since 1580, Spain. From 1912 until 1959, the city was also the capital of Spanish Morocco, a colonial protectorate created when France and Spain divided that kingdom during the "Morocco Crisis" of 1912. Generalisimo Francisco Franco launched the Spanish Civil War from Ceuta in 1936. Today, Ceuta boasts an easy-going charm and a cosmopolitan mix of cultures. The city is also a gateway for Morocco proper and the dramatic landscape of the Rif Mountains.

In antiquity, the Straits of Gibraltar were referred to as "The Pillars of Hercules." Ceuta faces the Rock of Gibraltar across the Straits, and some modern geographers insist the city's Mount Hacho forms the African Pillar as counterpart to The Rock.

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  • Mediterranean Maritime Park Mediterranean Maritime Park

    This urban park created by artist César Manrique is home to salt-water lakes, solariums, gardens, casino, restaurant and nightclub. And there is a stunning castle inspired by Ceuta's defensive walls.

  • Our Lady of Africa (Nuestra Senora de Africa)  Church Our Lady of Africa (Nuestra Senora de Africa) Church

    This ornate baroque church is a haven of spirituality consecrated in 1752. The Catholic Church was built to honor a sacred painting of the Virgin Mary that was sent to Ceuta by Henry the Navigator.

  • Hermitage of San Antonio Hermitage of San Antonio

    This charming chapel on the slopes of Mont Hacho is dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua. Built in the 17th century and renovated in the 1960s, it is the site of the saint's festival on June 13th.

  • Tetouan Tetouan

    Located in Northern Morocco in the Rif Mountain region, Tetouan is a major Mediterranean seaport. It boasts wide streets, lush fruit orchards, exquisite tile work and the Martil River valley.

  • Medina of Chefchaouen Medina of Chefchaouen

    Stunning Moroccan hamlet described as "The Blue City," where nearly everything is painted blue. The medina is a bustling bazaar filled with delights and the central square is home to the Kasbah and the Great Mosque.

  • Plaza de Africa Plaza de Africa

    A lovely Andalusian-style plaza in the heart of the old city, it hosts a war memorial, honoring those who took part in the Spanish invasion of Morocco in 1859 and a pair of impressive churches.

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