THE WHITE DOVE
Tetouan, known as the white dove of Morocco with its distinctive Medina of whitewashed walls and green shutters, is protected by UNESCO as a heritage site.
Between the hills of Dersa and Gorges and opposite the Rif mountains, this authentic, bustling city rises above the Martil river valley. What was at one point the Capital of the Spanish Protectorate is now the living reflection of architecture bearing the historical footprints left by Muslims, Jews and Christians in their neighbourhoods of latticed balconies and tiled patios abundant with plant pots and beautiful trellis-work.
The Spanish quarter with its military architecture borders on both the new town and the ancient Medina with surprising ease, just as the locals who hail from all parts of Morocco link modernity and tradition. A strong Spanish influence blends with the desire to preserve ancient customs. This is very evident at the dinner table where succulent tagines made from age-old recipes are served.
Tetuán is the most Andalusian and traditional of the cities. It is protected by mountains but from the rooftops full of laundry you can look out over the blue waters of the Mediterranean and imagine how it is for those living on the other shore.