Spanish North Africa /
City in Spanish North Africa with 68,796 inhabitants (May 1, 1996), of which there are 13,000 Moroccans, and some hundred Jews.
Main shopping street of Ceuta.
The fortress hovers over Ceuta whereever you go.
Ceuta is an enclave in mainland Morocco, covering an area of 19,7 km². It is administered by the Cádiz Province. It is one of two remaining fragments of long established Spanish presence in North Africa.
Ceuta is governed through a 25 seat local council with 4 parties, of which Groupo Independiente Liberal is the largest with 12 seats. Mayor of Ceuta is Antionio Casarramona.
The economic base for Ceuta are the military base, tax free trade, fuel supplies to passing ships, small scale industries, fishing (mainly sardines and anchovies), as well as different forms of smuggling.
Smuggling in Ceuta, especially of drugs, has lead to an increase in crime, and in the last half of the 1990s there were more than 40 drug-related shootings.
Throughout the 1990s Ceuta advanced from a point 33% below the living standard in Spain, reaching a point that was slightly ahead of average Spanish buying power. Unemployment rates in Ceuta and Melilla together are 11,4% (August 1999).
The topography around Ceuta is marked by 7 peaks, of which Musa Mountain is one of the two Pillars of Hercules, once the symbolic gate between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea.
Ceuta has 2 local newspapers, the largest having a circulation of 5,000, and 3 radio stations.
There is a ferry service to Algeciras on the European side of the Gibraltar Strait.
1st millennium BCE: Ceuta is established by the Phoenicians and later becomes a Roman colony.
5th century CE: Ceuta is conquered by the Vandals, but later lost to Byzantium, then to the Visigoths.
7th century: The Arabs conquer Ceuta.
1415: The Portuguese king Juan 1 seizes Ceuta from Arab control.
1580: With the union of the crowns of Spain and Portugal, Ceuta passes to Spanish control.
1648: A Moroccan chieftain, Ahmad Gailan, puts Ceuta under blockade.
1655: End of Ahmad's blockade.
1694: As Spain and Portugal split, the representatives of Ceuta asks to stay under Spanish rule.
The Sultan of Morocco, Moulay Ismail, attacks Ceuta. This is the beginning of a 26 year long blockade of the town.
1780: Signing of a pact of friendship and commerce between Morocco and Spain in Aranjuez.
1844: Dispute over the border between Morocco and Ceuta. This situation lasts into the following year.
1859: War between Morocco and Spain, once again over the definition of the border.
1860: Morocco loses a battle at Oued Ra's. This leads to an end of the war, as well as a small expansion of the territory of Ceuta.
1974: Ceuta becomes seat of the Capitanía General de Africa.
1978: King Hassan makes claims on Ceuta, and Melilla, comparing the Spanish presence in the areas as similar to the British presence in Gibraltar.
1983 March: Moroccan blockade of Ceuta, as well as of Melilla.
1985 July: Most Muslims living in Ceuta register avoid expulsion, following a new Spanish aliens law.
1986 March: About 20,000 people in Ceuta demonstrate for autonomy.
1988 June: Signing of a bilateral agreement between Spain and Morocco on economic cooperation.
1994 September: Autonomy is not fully approved by the Spanish government, which instead gives local councils powers similar to municipal councils in Spain.
October: Heavy demonstrations in Ceuta in favour of autonomy.