Asilah (also Assilah, Arzila) is a small fortified city destination in northern Morocco. Asilah offers a good introduction to Morocco. It hosts annual music and arts festivals, including a mural-painting festival. Many of the houses of Asilah feature mashrabiya (oriel windows). The main cultural center is the Centre Hassan II des Rencontres Internationales (housed in a former Spanish barracks), which hosts festivals in the summer.
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Asilah is a fortified town on the northwest tip of the Atlantic coast of Morocco. The city's ramparts and gateworks remain fully intact. The City of Asilah is about 31 km (19 mi) south of Tangier.
The town's history dates back to 1500 B.C., when Phoenicians occupied a site called Silis, Zili, Zilis, which is being excavated at Dchar Jdid, some 12 km (7.5 mi) NE of present Asilah; that place was once considered to be the Roman stronghold Ad Mercuri, but is now accepted to be Zilil. The town of Asilah itself was partly constructed by the Idrisid dynasty, and Cordoban caliph Al-Hakam II rebuilt the town in 966. The Portuguese conquered the city in 1471 and built its fortifications, but it was abandoned because of an economic debt crisis in 1549. In 1578, Sebastian of Portugal used Asilah as a base for his troops during a planned crusade that resulted in Sebastian's death, which in turn caused the Portuguese succession crisis of 1580. The Portuguese kept hold of the town but in 1589 the Moroccans briefly regained control of Asilah, but then lost it to the Spanish.
In 1692, the town was again taken by the Moroccans under the leadership of Moulay Ismail. Asilah served then as a base for pirates in the 19th and 20th centuries, and in 1829, the Austrians punitively bombarded the city due to Moroccan piracy.
Due to its proximity to Spain, the cuisine in Asilah is described as Ibero-Moroccan with notable delicacies including paella, anchovies, and other seafood with both Moroccan and Valencian flavor influences.
Here how you can get in Asilah;
Asilah has few key tourist attractions to offer;
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