The andalusian White Villages route ends in Tetouan
With 400 years since its foundation and 23 since it was proclaimed a World Heritage Site, the city of Tetouan continues to be one of the most popular points in the north of the Maghreb country. Its labyrinthine medina is embedded in the wall. This is still almost entirely preserved and can be seen if you walk around it. This can be accessed through seven big doors that surround the medina.
But, among the winding streets where it can be easy to get lost, Tetouan hides several characteristics that, for those who have visited Spain, will sometimes be familiar. These characteristics differentiate the Moroccan city from the rest. In the middle of the 16th century, many Andalusians were expelled from their land and ended up settling in the areas closest to the Alboran Sea. How could it be another way, Tetuán was found by these and the legacy of these Andalusian exiles can be felt to the present day if we refine more than just sight.
Following this line, we can see that in Tetouan, unlike other large Moroccan cities, another color prevails. Marrakech, is known as the red pearl, Ouarzazate is a city in the middle of a brown sea of sandstone rock, the desert villages are blurred with the color of this particular ecosystem, Chaouen is known for its hegemony of the blue color and Tetouan is also called “The White Dove”. A stamp that recalls, undoubtedly, many Andalusian towns and has its reasons.
Thanks to history, today we know that in the south of the Iberian peninsula where the white towns are gathered, they were founded by exiled muslims and that, therefore, Tetouan could be considered another white town since the Andalusians were the origin of what it is today. These exported the culture of the lime baths on the facades, the height of two floors and the interior of the houses with a patio.
Tetouan and its architecture in the 20th century
Later, at the beginning of the last century, the expansion of the Moroccan city was the work of the spanish people during its protectorate and this is the reason why many buildings resemble peninsular architectures. This was as a result of the spanish protectorate that they ordered to continue staining white the institutional and civil architectures. The Spanish Neighborhood follows this line decorating its Christian religious temples with balconies (very typical of Spanish architecture) and green tones.
His style was such that many artists of the time fall in love with it, such as the architect Mariano Bertuchi Nieto. This famous painting artist dedicated his entire life to reflecting the andalusian landscapes of the southern mountain ranges of Andalusia such as Granada, Malaga, Cádiz… until he discovered Tetuán and spent the last days of his life there.
Preserving the andalusian legacy was the obsession of this graphic chronicler who maintained the conviction of the artistic and architectural brotherhood between Andalusia and North Africa.