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History and architecture in Tangier morocco

Thu, Sep 9, 2010

Northern Africa



It is truly a beautiful sight when the sunlight goes into a state passive decadence and dusk is what the evening is all about, in a city as beautiful as tangier.  You will find many tiny groups of locals and even expats sipping on mint flavored black tea, and even some who take their socializing habits to the top of the hotel Nord Pinus.  There is a beautifully styled guest house which lies in the Kasbah. The doorways are filled with the slight gush of gentle sea breeze that just makes its way though the large arches and are filled with decorated Moroccan pillows and other articles of embroidery and modern Moroccan photography which is pretty much like contemporary styled photography with Moroccan influence in terms of location and subject. All this gives tangier an elegant air of exclusivity.

The café hafa gives off a very dominating scent of strong coffee, which is almost appreciated in anticipation by the many people around this place. In fact this café has been famous from when the rolling stones visited here and hung out at this coffee joint. Round now you also may find about a few people sitting around this place and having their coffee and smoking local tobacco mixed with hashish.

This port of tangier in morocco has been a part of many extreme crossroads. It also serves the common place there North Africa and Europe meet. The Mediterranean meets the Atlantic Ocean over here and creates a rare mix of history and hedonism.

While you see the authentic mix of tangier culture in everything, you will also find new generation of artists, and a whole new branch of creativity that come together and give the port of tangier a spark of gloss and interest.

After the second world war , tangier was in a diplomatic limbo and was an international zone, until of course its beaches became a haven for spies , businessmen, people who were in exile and many different eccentric foreigners.

‘The naked lunch’ by William S Burroughs was written here. This place marks the fiftieth anniversary of when Paul Bowles competed his beautiful and haunting cult classic, ‘the sheltering sky’.

In the recent few years, this place was considered to be deteriorating because of the boom of drugs and hustlers here. Although the place still has the tiny lanes and the sleazy and dark alleys, although the tangier that is now is almost like a new city, with its huge royal investments and an art community that is just waiting for boom.  The architecture in the city has been renovated, like the tangier Cinema and the many boutiques that are filled with many artistic objects.  Even the local coffee shops are much habituated to serving to quite an idiosyncratic crowd.

If you actually look at the crowd that comes here, it would include people like supermodels, Bruno Frisony and Jacquetta Wheeler, who is a designer for Roger Vivier. Even the French writer, Bernard Henry Levy, apparently just bought beautiful modernistic house right next to Café Hafa.

The forty four year of king of Morocco, King Mohammed the sixth is mainly responsible for bringing about the renaissance in this area. The previous king of Morocco evidently didn’t really care that much about Morocco.

King Mohammed essentially saw tangier less like an urban wetland and ore like a bridge that merges cultures and serves as a commercial gateway between Europe and Africa.  Also, the new king appointed modern thinkers and revolutionaries as governors of Tangier, after looking at what they had done with Marrakech.  A new port called the Tangier Med has been opened to compliment the already existing trading infrastructure. Also, the administrative center of this part was designed by a famous French architect called ‘Jean Nouvel’.

There is in fact a high speed train that works as a vessel to cut off travel time between Tangier and Marrakech. The journey takes less than three hours.

Since Bowles wrote ‘without stopping’ in the year nineteen seventy; which essentially a large and surreal jumble of alleyways with white corked facades and courtyards that are both shady and almost unnoticeable; all these make a part of the heart of the historical aspect of Tangier.

In fact, Bowles described Tangier to be rich in dream scenes. He said that the streets and the many corridors open into rooms on both sides. The terraces here are quite hidden and they lie above sea level.  Also, the streets have a lot of steps and dark passes.  There are small squares that are built into the slopey terrain just to that these look like sets of ballets. These alleys lead off in many different directions.

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