For organizational purposes, this site refers to the original city of Tangier that was surrounded by the old walls, as seen in the map published in Tanger Et Sa Zone, the seventh volume of Villes Et Tribus du Maroc. Though the walls have changed over time, in today's terms this is roughly the area bounded by rue du Portugal, rue de la Plage, rue d'Italie which becomes rue de la Kasbah, ultimately leading to Borj Ben Amar and Borj Na'am. The wall on the north side of rue Riad Sultan is the northern border along the cliff, and it once continued through to Borj Dar el-Baroud. Only portions of the eastern wall still exist, but the boundary is easily defined, running between the area containing the Customs House and Port and, proceeding from the north to the south, the Hotel Continental, Borj al-Salaam, Borj al-Hajaoui (the terrace in front of the Great Mosque), and ending the circle at the square where Bab Dar Dbagh meets rue du Portugal.
Though the Kasbah was walled off from the rest of the medina, it is within the city walls, and thus considered part of the medina, as well as district unto itself. So again, for organizational purposes, the constituent elements of the Kasbah are listed on the site record for the Kasbah, but not associated directly with this record.
Until the late 19th c. the history of Tangier is, essentially, the history of the medina, including the Kasbah. In recent years a great deal of research has been done on the walls of the Tangier medina, most notably represented by the massive volume Portuguese TangierPortuguese Tangier (1471-1662): Colonial Urban Fabric as Cross-Cultural Skeleton. In this book, Martin Elbi combines a great deal of archival research and archeological evidence, and contemporary mapping technologies to ascertain the location of the Portuguese fortifications in relation to later construction. There have also been rehabilitation and even reconstruction projects such as the rebuilding of the collapsed Bab al-Bahar and Qal'a on the Place de Mechouar, aka Place de la Kasbah. Indeed, a great deal of preservation work continues throughout the medina of Tangier.
Tangier at the Crossroads: Memories of Cosmopolitanism and Dreams of Technological Modernity
This presentation by Michael A. Toler, Archnet Content Manager, looks at the development of the city of Tangier during two periods of extremely rapid transformation approximately a century apart. The first was at the beginning of the 20th century around the time during which Morocco was divided up by French and Spanish colonial powers into two protectorate zones. Although this colonial system changed the administrative and military landscape in the area surrounding the city, Tangier itself continued being a de facto International Zone until its formal declaration as such in 1923. The second period has been ongoing since shortly after Mohammed VI assumed the throne after the unexpected death of Hassan II in 1999. There are many parallels between the development of the city during these two periods. While the first period saw the introduction of railways, airports, and roads suitable for vehicular traffic, the second period brought a construction boom and the first significant upgrade to those facilities since Moroccan Independence in 1956. During both periods a growing population expanded the city well beyond its existing limits. The beginning of the 20th century saw an influx of foreign nationals as well as wealthier residents marking the growth of the city beyond the confines of Kasbah and walled medina. The last two decades have also seen the construction of new neighborhoods to accommodate rapid demographic expansion, as well as massive investments in infrastructure upgrades. Authorities have also declared a new "City Center" that is so far from the traditional medina as to be outside the "New City" of the Protectorate era. The current expansion of the city is enabled by the central government once again making tremendous investments and embracing a city that had largely been neglected since independence. In many ways, Tangier is cast as paradigmatic of modern Morocco. While these two periods are over a century apart and mark distinct periods in Moroccan history, a comparative analysis of urban developments during each is insightful. This presentation explores the dynamics of Tangier's transformation since the early 20th century and poses questions regarding the implications for the city's residents. The current expansion of the city is enabled by the central government once again making tremendous investments and embracing a city that had largely been neglected since independence, largely in an effort to attract investment from abroad, once again making Tangier an international zone, albeit it one under Moroccan sovereignty. Yet in many ways, Tangier is cast as paradigmatic of modern Morocco as a whole. While these two periods are over a century apart and mark distinct periods in Moroccan history, a comparative analysis of urban developments during each is insightful. This presentation explores the dynamics of Tangier's transformation since the early 20th century and poses questions regarding the implications for the city's residents.