Taza's strategically important position is easy to miss both when looking at the map, as well as travelling in the region. The valley north of Taza is the only good pass between the Rif Mountains and the Middle Atlas Mountains, and is known as Tizi-n-Touahar. Historically, this has been the point by which Morocco has been conquered ever since the days of the Romans.
Taza was established very much as a fortress to controll the pass, and its 12th century Almohad town walls stretch for 3 km. The present condition is at many points good, at other points in ruins. The most interesting place along the town walls is the gate knwon as Bab ar-Rouah, meaning "Gate of Winds". Here, houses allow a good impression of the walls as well as great views over the surrounding landscape.