Tangier, Morocco, the capital of Tangier province. The city's name is also spelled Tangiers, Tanger, and Tanjah. It is a seaport on the Strait of Gibraltar about 20 miles (32 km) south of Spain. The center of the city is the old Moorish quarter and Casbah, around which are more modern sections. Economically, Tangier depends mainly on its port and its tourist trade. There is virtually no manufacturing other than the making of handicrafts. The city is well served by roads, railway, and airlines and has ferry service to Spain.
Probably founded by the Phoenicians, Tangier was held successively by Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, and Arabs. A period of mainly Portuguese rule began in 1471 and continued until the city was given to England as part of a dowry in 1661. Britain abandoned the city in 1684, after which came more than 200 years of Moroccan control.
By a series of agreements beginning in 1904, Britain, France, Spain, and six other nations made Tangier part of an international territory, called the Tangier Zone. While under international control, Tangier, with its duty-free port, became a center for financial manipulators, smugglers, and international intrigue. During World War II the Tangier Zone was occupied by Spain. International administration was restored in 1945 and the territory remained under international control until 1956, when the city became part of Morocco.