Often, When talking about Spain, few people think of Ceuta and Melilla. And these two autonomous cities are in African territory. They are remote cities, but not forgotten, how to do it if they are immersed in a mixture of cultures and have incredible monuments and places to know? Do you want to know which ones? Well, let's take the boat!
Ceuta and Melilla are similar and at the same time different, but both are full of charm and picturesque corners that you will never forget. These are some of the most characteristic things to see in them.
Ceuta and Melilla: the treasures of Melilla
Despite being so close to Morocco, The footprint of Phoenicians, Romans, Vandals and Byzantines is present in Melilla. A city full of vestiges of so many cultures has to be, how little, interesting and cultural. Do not miss these corners:
Melilla the OldMelilla Fortress
The best place to see this impressive mix of cultures is undoubtedly the old part of the city, which It was declared a Historic-Artistic Site. Its single location already forms an incredible sight to behold.
It stands on a hill as if it were a fortress with the Mediterranean at its feet. Within it you can pass and enjoy its parks, its fountains, other monuments and its narrow and cobbled alleyways.
These caves are in the city walls and it is speculated that the Phoenicians created them by taking advantage of an existing natural cave. For a time they were used as homes when the Arabs had besieged Melilla.
The route of modernismModernist house El Barrio del Real - Miguel González Novo / Wikimedia Commons
One of Gaudí's most outstanding disciples, Enric Nieto i Nieto, moved to Melilla at the beginning of the 20th century. He filled the city with his modernist works, just as his teacher did with Barcelona.
Walking the streets of Melilla you will see many of them. Do not miss his works in the widening Queen Victoria, the Plaza de España, the Spanish Army Street or the Menéndez Pelayo Square.
Do not forget that Melilla is a maritime city that has lived from fishing for many years, and even today many continue to do so. To honor those who work hard at sea, there is this square attached to the walls.
In it you can see a boat with the name of the boats that worked in the Mare Nostrum and that left Melilla.
What to see in Ceuta
While Melilla is a cultural city where there are, Ceuta seems to keep fighting to secure his identity. Some areas resemble ancient civilizations, others to Spain, and in many others an Arab atmosphere is breathed. All this creates a unique series of contrasts.
Royal walls and navigable moatCeuta wall and moat
If you ask anyone who knows the city, they will surely tell you that this It's the prettiest part of Ceuta. The walls were erected at different times, so the mixture of architecture and styles is seen in each brick.
The navigable moat is located in the middle of the city walls, splitting it in two. If you want, there are organized excursions that will give you a boat ride through it. A new way to see another perspective of the place.
Despite its proximity to Morocco, Ceuta is a religious and Catholic city, so its cathedral is one of the emblems. It was built on the remains of a mosque and it was destroyed several times, although in the eighteenth century the restorations were finished and already presented the appearance it has today in baroque and neoclassical style.
The House of DragonsHouse of the Dragons of Ceuta - Miguel Ossorio / Flickr.com
This house, which was designed by José María Cortina Pérez, dates from the early twentieth century and was used to be the African casino. In their balconies and facade the protagonists are fabulous dragons. Original and different.
This islet has caused disputes between Moroccans and Spaniards, even recently. It is just two hundred meters from the coast and there is a huge cave in it.
"There is no trip that doesn't change something for you."
As you can see, although remote, Ceuta and Melilla are not forgotten, on the contrary, they are two cities that are worth visiting.