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SPAIN - Melilla

Location - North Africa; Capital - Madrid; Population - Melilla - 80,000; Spain - 46 million; Currency - Euro MORE MELILLA

There's a direct train from Fez to Beni Ensar port in Morocco, from where it's a short walk to the border with Spain and Melilla, an autonomous Spanish city on the Mediterranean coast in Africa covering 12km² - October 2011. And in December 2013 I returned to finally track down the Spanish military fortresses I missed two years earlier.


euroAs Melilla is part of Spain it uses the Euro










melilla87Melilla centres around the trees and fountains of Plaza de Espana - Melilla


melilla89Surrounding the Plaza de Espana is the Palacio de la Asamblea, one of several Modernist buildings in Melilla

melilla239The building is a creation of Modernist architect Enrique Nieto, a student of Gaudi (creator of Barcelona's Sagrada Familia church) - Melilla













melilla241The Palacio de la Asamblea is a functioning town hall - Melilla














melilla237Around Christmas time the Assembly Palace is adorned with lights - Melilla


melilla257It's possible to have a look around inside - Melilla


Enrique Nieto is synonymous with Melilla. This is the Casino Militar, also in the Plaza de Espana - Melilla














melilla95In Modernist terms Melilla is second only to Barcelona















melilla227Across the road from Plaza de Espana is Parque Hernandez, a great place for lazing - Melilla


melilla229A statue in Parque Hernandez honouring the 'Tercio Gran Capitán 1º de la Legion', in other words the Spanish Legion's unit in Melilla


melilla235An illuminated water fountain in Parque Hernandez - Melilla














melilla65 Oops! A 4x4 has an argument with a newspaper kiosk - Melilla














melilla97Various statues are dotted around the town, though I've no idea if they represent famous locals - Melilla


melilla190Signing an agreement for the autonomy of Melilla? Or maybe a statement that Melilla is as Spanish as tapas - Melilla


melilla99It's a strange feeling to be in Spain but also in Africa - Melilla
















melilla102The oval window of the Telegrama del Rif is typical of Modernist architecture - Melilla














melilla108melilla110aThe Melilla of Four Cultures: On the left the Or Zaruah synagogue was designed by Enrique Nieto; on the right is the Hindu Oratory - Melilla


melilla278The Melilla of Four Cultures: The Central Mosque is also the work of, surprise suprprise, Enrique Nieto - Melilla


melilla54The Melilla of Four Cultures: The Church of Sagrado Corazon de Jesus stands opposite the Plaza Menendez Pelayo in Melilla














melilla261Modernist architecture next to the church - Melilla















melilla262More declarations and agreements being signed, this time in the Plaza Menendez Pelayo - Melilla


melilla57The spire of the Church of Sagrado Corazon de Jesus - Melilla


melilla175More fancy buildings in the Spanish enclave of Melilla















melilla174A Muslim woman takes a rest. Melilla's population is around one third Moroccan, two thirds Spanish - Melilla














melilla244Christmas decorations in the high street - Melilla


melilla245Smoke rises from a stall selling roast chestnuts - Melilla


melilla47At the end of Calle Candido Lobera is Parque Lobera, a small park on the slopes beneath Parador de Melilla hotel - Melilla














melilla44Casa Marta has a covered area to enjoy a beer, tinto de verano etc. There's also a fantastic tapas bar, La Cerveceria, on Calle General O'Donnell - Melilla














melilla247The Grande Libre monument 'commemorates' Franco's revolt against the Spanish government in July 1936, marking the onset of the Spanish Civil War - Melilla


melilla37The Plaza de Toros is the only bull ring in Africa still up and running - Melilla


melilla105A short walk from the Plaza de Espana is the Puerto Deportivo Noray - Melilla















melilla106Puerto Deportivo Noray is home to several bars and restaurants on the Mediterranean waterfront - Melilla















melilla107Local beauty Bilal poses for a photo outside one of the Puerto Deportivo Noray bars - Melilla


melilla416The top floor restaurant at the Anfora Hotel is a great place to take in Melilla and Morocco - Melilla


melilla415The thick stone walls of Melilla la Vieja, or Old Melilla, roll down to the Plaza de las Culturas below - Melilla














melilla420The Plaza de Espana is hidden to the left, with the Moroccan hills rising above Melilla














melilla269Graffiti near the Plaza de las Culturas - Melilla


melilla268The barrier hides a building site but hopefully they'll keep the murals - Melilla


melilla115The Darsena Pesquera (Fishing Dock) lies next to the Old Town - Melilla















melilla432Dusk at the fishing harbour - Melilla















melilla426Windsurfers take advantage of the favourable winter weather conditions - Melilla


melilla428The impressive Melilla la Vieja, also called Medina Sidonia - Melilla


melilla120Melilla la Vieja was constructed after the Spanish conquest in the 16th century - Melilla














melilla118A statue of Spanish dictator General Franco outside the entrance to the Old Town - Melilla


















melilla316The Christmas Fare was being prepared when I was there in December 2013 - Melilla


melilla125A tunnel beneath the Old Town leads to the small beach Ensanada de los Galapagos - Melilla


melilla366Ensanada de los Galapagos, an enclosed beach sandwiched between the town walls - Melilla













melilla123Steps lead away from Plaza de los Aljibes inside Melilla la Vieja - Melilla














melilla338One of the ancient storage rooms on Plaza de los Aljibes, where you can also see the historic water cistern of the Aljibes de las Penuelas - Melilla


melilla126Sorry I've got no food with me. The Old Town's Plaza de Armas - Melilla


melilla332Work continues for the Christmas Fare within the fortress walls of Melilla la Vieja - Melilla














melilla130The Spanish captured the city in 1497 and proceeded to fortify their enclave - Melilla















melilla330A bastion in Melilla la Vieja, with a distant Edificio V Centenario building in the background - Melilla


melilla138From the fortress walls there's excellent views of the fishing harbour and the Moroccan hills behind - Melilla


melilla386Military helicopters seem to be everywhere in Spain's African enclaves - Melilla













melilla139The Darsena Pesquera (fishing harbour). On the right is the Palacio de la Asamblea on Plaza de Espana - Melilla














melilla335The building on the left is a museum of modern and contemporary Spanish art - Melilla


melilla143A beautifully restored building in the Old Town - Melilla


melilla145The Old Town affords near 360° views of the Mediterranean - Melilla














melilla372The Military Museum covers the history of the Spanish Legion - Melilla














melilla362Above the Military Museum is a panoramic viewpoint where you can take in the Mediterranean and the African coast - Melilla


melilla364The view from the Baluarte (bastion) de la Concepcion covers the Old Town, Melillan beaches, Moroccan hills, the Edificio V Centenario building and the African coast - Melilla


melilla147Past the lighthouse (right) to the Mediterranean Sea - Melilla














melilla151 Cannons next to the lighthouse point seawards - Melilla















melilla156A residential area in the Old Town - Melilla


melilla389In the winter of 2013 the Hospital del Rey held an exhibition detailing the history of Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony south of Morocco - Melilla


melilla391Decorative plant pots on a residential wall in Melilla la Vieja - Melilla














melilla358The Cuevas del Conventico are a series of tunnels used as a refuge during sieges - Melilla















melilla351Ask at the History Museum for tours of the Convent Caves - Melilla


melilla356A rather phallic carving outside the cave exit - Melilla


melilla120aMelilla was originally inhabited by the Phoenicians back in the 10th century BC when the city was known as Rusadir














melilla164Checking out the Baluarte de la Concepcion from Carretera de la Alcazaba, a road opposite the Old Town - Melilla















melilla158The atmospheric Melilla la Vieja look superb, though it's eerily quiet at night - Melilla


melilla177Nudity and the veil - Melilla



melilla181The Gaselec Museum was hosting a dinosaur exhibition in late 2013 - Melilla















melilla179Sigo Sonando (I Keep Dreaming) - Melilla















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