Moroccan cities: Oujda

In the series with Moroccan cities today we focus the spotlight on Oujda.

Oujda is a town in northeastern Morocco, located some 60 kilometers south of the Mediterranean coast. It is the county seat of the Prefecture Oujda-Angad, in the Oriental region. The proximity of the port of Nador and Algeria makes it possible to be an intersection between Morocco and Algeria. Because of its location and history of the city, the city has a mix of European and Arabic influences. The city counted a population of 494,252 inhabitants in 2014.

Oujda is founded by Ziri ibn Atiyya in 994, the Maghrawa King of the Zenata tribes. Ibn Atiyya found the westerly Fez not suitable as capital and therefore decided to build a new one in it by its Zenata tribes populated eastern Morocco. Of 994 997 to Oujda was the capital of his Moroccan Empire. Between the 13th and 15th century, the city was fought by two dynasties, the Meriniden of Fez and the Zianiden of Tlemcen. In 1297, the city was rebuilt by the Meriniden, the sultan Abu Yaqub built a Palace, and a new mosque, the Jamaa Labelle, which still exists and is the oldest mosque of Oujda.

The long-term battle between the Kings of Fez and Tlemcen, made sure the city in the 16th century in decline. In the mid-16th century, Oujda conquered by the Saadis. From the 16th century the city was claimed by the Ottoman Turks and was several times for short duration by their occupied, in 1859, the city was conquered by the French until Morocco became independent. At the beginning of the 20th century the city had a population of about 30,000 people, half of whom are European.

The Sidi Maafa park
The large park has an area of 1200 ha (12 km²) and a height of 824m. There are several trees and forests where you can enjoy the surroundings. It is also possible to be performed in this area many sporting activities, including mountain biking, motocross and cross-country skiing.

There are also benches and tables where you can enjoy the nature or a picnic. It's nice to be with family or friends to visit this park.

The city centre is an ideal place if you like shopping and walking. It is the modern part of Oujda with shops and other buildings. Walk through it in order to explore it at your leisure centre.

Not far from the medina is the Lalla Aïcha Park on an area of about 20 hectares. The park was created in 1935 and is a place of relaxation, especially for the local inhabitants of Oujda. It is a leisure area with swimming pools, sports fields, tennis courts, riding clubs and playground equipment for children.

To better get to know the culture and customs is the three Mars square well worth a visit. The square radiates much freshness and cosiness with the little bridges over the ponds and is a popular place with locals who come relax on the square. There are also several dining options where you can go for a bite to eat or a drink.

The Cai Aaa library is part of the small network of modern public libraries of the last century. The location of the current library is located in a beautiful Moorish House that belonged to the Pasha of the city of Oujda. It has multiple reading rooms and is a multilingual specialized library.

The medina represents the old city of Oujda with its Arab-Islamic style. It is bordered by the rest of the new city by its crenellated walls. In addition, the city gates with the remarkable architecture of Arab-Andalusian style that allows an exchange between the old town and the modern city. Also located here is the old market where you can make a walk through.

The great mosque or Jamaa Labelle of Oujda leave a piece of history, do you like old architecture then this mosque, built in the thirteenth century by sultan Abu Yaqub. Outside a place of worship is a particularly beautiful building.These are two well-known historical gates that used to be built. The major ports are by far to see and give the city a particular view. You will pass the gates if you entered the old town.In the Medina of Oujda are also many palaces, the most notable are those of Dar Al Makhzen and Dar Al Bacha.

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