Chefchaouen in Morocco

14 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  13 minutes

© R.asma/cc-by-sa-3.0

© R.asma/cc-by-sa-3.0

Chefchaouen, also known as Chaouen, is a city in northwest Morocco. It is the chief town of the province of the same name, and is noted for its buildings in shades of blue. Chefchaouen is situated just inland from Tangier and Tétouan. It was founded as a military outpost shortly before the Spanish Reconquista of Granada, and its population grew quickly with Muslim and Jewish immigrants fleeing from Spain. The economy is based on a traditional agro-pastoral system with olive and fig plantations; numerous water mills for grinding grain and olives; a handicrafts sector focusing on leather, iron, textiles and carpentry; and summer-dominated tourism. The city of Chefchaouen is located at about 600 metres (2,000 ft) above sea level in the foothills of the Kaʻala mountain in the western part of the Rif mountain range, in northwestern Morocco. The province of Chefchaouen is among the largest in Morocco, with an area of 3,443 km² (1,329 sq mi). It is bordered by five provinces – Tétouan Province to the northwest, Larache Province to the west, Al Hoceïma Province to the east, Taounate Province to the south, Ouezzane Province to the southwest – and the Mediterranean Sea to the northeast. The Province of Chefchaouen belongs to the Tanger-Tetouan-Al Hoceima Region and consists of one urban commune (the municipality of Chefchaouen) and 27 rural communes, giving the province a rural character.   read more…

Thebes in Egypt

12 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  9 minutes

Ramesseum, the memorial temple of Pharaoh Ramesses II © Wouter Hagens/cc-by-sa-3.0

Ramesseum, the memorial temple of Pharaoh Ramesses II © Wouter Hagens/cc-by-sa-3.0

Thebes, known to the ancient Egyptians as Waset, was an ancient Egyptian city located along the Nile about 800 kilometers (500 mi) south of the Mediterranean. Its ruins lie within the modern Egyptian city of Luxor. Thebes was the main city of the fourth Upper Egyptian nome (Sceptre nome) and was the capital of Egypt for long periods during the Middle Kingdom and New Kingdom eras. It was close to Nubia and the Eastern Desert, with its valuable mineral resources and trade routes. It was a cult center and the most venerated city during many periods of ancient Egyptian history. The site of Thebes includes areas on both the eastern bank of the Nile, where the temples of Karnak and Luxor stand and where the city was situated; and the western bank, where a necropolis of large private and royal cemeteries and funerary complexes can be found. In 1979, the ruins of ancient Thebes were classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.   read more…

Essaouira on the Atlantic Ocean

8 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  14 minutes

© flickr.com - Visions of Domino/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – Visions of Domino/cc-by-2.0

Essaouira, known until the 1960s as Mogador, today the name of the island off the coast of the city, is a port city in the western Moroccan region of Marakesh-Safi, on the Atlantic coast. It has 77,966 inhabitants as of 2014. The foundation of the city of Essaouira was the work of the Moroccan ‘Alawid sultan Mohammed bin Abdallah, who made an original experiment by entrusting it to several renowned architects in 1760, in particular Théodore Cornut and Ahmed al-Inglizi, who designed the city using French captives from the failed French expedition to Larache in 1765, and with the mission of building a city adapted to the needs of foreign merchants. Once built, it continued to grow and experienced a golden age and exceptional development, becoming the country’s most important commercial port but also its diplomatic capital between the end of the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century. The entire old town (Medina) of Essaouira was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2001.   read more…

Sfax in Tunisia

26 August 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  7 minutes

Ksar Berromdhan © El Golli Mohamed/cc-by-sa-4.0

Ksar Berromdhan © El Golli Mohamed/cc-by-sa-4.0

Sfax is a city in Tunisia, located 270 km (170 mi) southeast of Tunis. The city, founded in AD 849 on the ruins of Roman Taparura, is the capital of the Sfax Governorate (about 955,421 inhabitants in 2014), and a Mediterranean port. Sfax has a population of 330,440 (census 2014). The main industries are phosphate, olive and nut processing, fishing (largest fishing port in Tunisia) and international trade. The city is the second-most populous after the capital, Tunis.   read more…

El Jadida in Morocco

23 June 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  7 minutes

Fortress of El Jadida © M. Rais/cc-by-sa-3.0

Fortress of El Jadida © M. Rais/cc-by-sa-3.0

El Jadida, originally known in Berber as Maziɣen or Mazighen; known in Portuguese as Mazagão, is a major port city on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, located 96 km south of the city of Casablanca, in the province of El Jadida and the region of Casablanca-Settat. It has a population of 170,956 as of 2022. The fortified city, built by the Portuguese at the beginning of the 16th century and named Mazagan (Mazagão in Portuguese), was taken by the Moroccans in 1769.   read more…

Aït-Benhaddou in Morocco

6 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  10 minutes

© ER Bauer/cc-by-2.5

© ER Bauer/cc-by-2.5

Aït Benhaddou is a historic ighrem or ksar (fortified village) along the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakesh in Morocco. It is considered a great example of Moroccan earthen clay architecture and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.   read more…

Carthage in Tunisia

28 January 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  9 minutes

Reconstruction of Punic Carthage © flickr.com - damian entwistle/cc-by-sa-2.0

Reconstruction of Punic Carthage © flickr.com – damian entwistle/cc-by-sa-2.0

Carthage was the capital city of the ancient Carthaginian civilization, on the eastern side of the Lake of Tunis in what is now Tunisia. Carthage was one of the most important trading hubs of the Ancient Mediterranean and one of the most affluent cities of the classical world. Today Carthage is a posh villa suburb of Tunis, the location of the largest university in the country and the location of the Tunisian presidential palace. The Carthage excavations are one of the most important tourist attractions in Tunisia. Most tour operators offer day trips from the seaside resorts on the Mediterranean coast to Tunis, Carthage and Sidi Bou Said.   read more…

Nile Delta on the Mediterranean Sea

27 July 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  11 minutes

Nile River and Nile Delta. Pretty obvious why both are that important to Egypt © ISS Expedition 25 - NASA Earth Observatory

Nile River and Nile Delta. Pretty obvious why both are that important to Egypt
© ISS Expedition 25 – NASA Earth Observatory

The Nile Delta is the delta formed in Lower Egypt where the Nile River spreads out and drains into the Mediterranean Sea. It is one of the world’s largest river deltas—from Alexandria in the west to Port Said in the east, it covers 240 km (150 mi) of Mediterranean coastline and is a rich agricultural region. From north to south the delta is approximately 160 km (99 mi) in length. The Delta begins slightly down-river from Cairo.   read more…

El Gouna in Egypt

18 June 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  7 minutes

© superdragon67/cc-by-sa-3.0

© superdragon67/cc-by-sa-3.0

El Gouna is an Egyptian tourist resort, owned by Samih Sawiris and developed by Orascom Hotels and Development, dating from 1989. It is located on the Red Sea in the Red Sea Governorate of Egypt, 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of Hurghada. It is part of the Red Sea Riviera, and a host city of the El Gouna Film Festival. El Gouna has 10 kilometers of coastline and consists of 20 islands surrounded by lagoons. The town is 25 kilometers away from the Hurghada International Airport, but the city also has its own private airport. El Gouna is also known for being Egypt’s greenest city, being the most environmentally-friendly town in all of Egypt.   read more…

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