Asilah is in northern Morocco, approximately 30 km southwest of Tangier.
The region around Asilah has been inhabited since well before 1500 BC and Phonecian settlements in the area, but the Mulsim city know as Asila dates to the Muslim conquest and the Idrisid dynasty. It 966 the city was reconstructed by the Umayyad Caliph al-Hakim II. In 1471 the Portuguese conquered the city, and it remained European sovereignty until 1691 when it was reconquered by Mulay Isma'il. He built two of the cities mosques, a madrasa and hammam.
In the 19th century the city was bombarded by the Austrians in 1829 and the Spanish in 1860. Asilah was also an important fiefdom of the Rifi leader Mulay Ahmad al-Raisuni, who was named Pasha of the region in 1906. Spain occupied Asilah in 1911, and it reverted to Moroccan control with most of northern Morocco when the Protectorate ended in 1956. Restored in 1978, Asilah is a resort town and a major tourist attraction. It is best known for its annual arts festival that attracts major international talent, including graphic artists who use the city's walls as a canvas.
Sources: Guiguet-Bologne, Philippe. Un guide de Tanger et de sa région. Tangier: Philip Guiguet Bologne, 1996.
Roca, Juan, Ramon. Tangier and its surroundings. Alicante, Spain: Roca Vincente-Franquiera, 2011.
López Soler, Mónica. THE COLOURS OF THE MEMORY An Architectural Route for Sentimental Travellers. 2013. La mairie de Malaga, dans le cadre du Programme POCTEFEX - Projet Arrabales présente ce guide d’architecture conçu comme un itinéraire touristico-culturel au travers des centres historiques des villes partenaires du programme, anciennes cités promotrices de tourisme culturel.
The Arrabales Project is being carried out in the context of the Operative Programme for Cross-border Cooperation (Spain-Exterior) POCTEFEX. This programme promotes collaboration between Spain and Morocco. This guide has been promoted by Malaga City council within the Arrabales project. This publication presents an architectural guide to the northern cities of Morocco and Malaga. It offers touristic and cultural routes which take the reader around the historic centres of the partner cities participating in the Arrabales project. The route starts in Malaga and continues on to Tangier, Larache, Asilah, Tetouan, Chefchaouen, Al Hoceima and Nador. This route aims to connect the old cities in the promotion of cultural tourism in an attempt to assist in the rehabilitation and protection of architectural heritage through knowledge, diffusion and value creation. It also highlights the shared history between the two sides of the Mediterranean.