Although one of the smallest of the Moroccan medinas, Tetouan is unquestionably the most complete and it has been largely untouched by subsequent outside influences. – UNESCO (whc.unesco.org)
Tetouan, Morocco is a jewel of a city that lies off the well worn paths of big tourism and commerce. Situated in the North of Morocco, on the North-Western tip of Africa, Tetouan sits by the Mediterranean Sea in a beautiful valley at the intersection of two rugged mountain ranges. Tetouan’s ancient walled city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a rich history and culture hidden within. Tetouan stands as a haven of old world artisanry, sumptuous spices, labyrinthine streets and dramatic landscapes; and yet it is still a place where the authenticity of the people and city lies raw, uncut, and close to the surface, allowing a valuable glimpse into the real lives of real people.
Tetouan’s architecture and second language reveal its place in recent history as the capital of the Spanish protectorate, a heritage that remains visible at every turn. With its countless annual arts festivals and associations, Tetouan has art “in its blood” at a grassroots level that is rarely seen in this part of the world. Here you will find Morocco’s prestigious National Institute of Fine Art, the starting point of many Moroccan artists, the National School of Architecture, the Royal Artisan School for children and Morocco’s new Museum of Modern Art.
Green Olive Arts is located in the 10-room home of a prominent Tetouani family, in the heart of this city – a few blocks from the king’s palace, numerous transportation arteries, museums, galleries and the gates of the medina itself.
I loved walking through the old city of Tetouan… drinking in the atmosphere of the places and the smells. The sensory impressions were so unique, I couldn’t get enough of that. Tetouan is such a ‘real’ city… unlike some other cities that seem to be more tourism focused. The sensory details of this place will overwhelm you and ‘swamp your boat’, in a good way. – Yahya Fredrickson, Poet and AiR, June 2013
Enjoy some pictures of Tetouan by the Green Olive Arts team and Artists in Residence:
The medina [old city] of Tetouan [is] a unique zone that shelters the splendor of the regional arts and crafts… [it] is a maze consisting in an entanglement of houses, mysterious alleys and dead ends. It is a city without architect that challenges the notions of private and public spheres and usual mapping methods. – Nafas Art Magazine (universes-in-universe.org)