The Tangier American Legation, a space for diplomacy
If you know what Tangier has to offer in terms of culture, you can organise a trip which has a little bit of everything. Trips to the historic quarter are totally compatible with this when you discover its extraordinary medina, go shopping in the Petit Socco, enjoy a sunset from the roof of any historic café and visit a museum. The latter suggestion, which is somewhat underrated in Tangier gives you the historical and cultural context of this exciting destination which will let you appreciate the wonders of the place you are in far more.
I am sure you will have already made a note of the Kasbah Museum in your travel diary. You would be wise to do so because you will discover the former palace of a sultan with a varied collection of art and crafts inside. However, do not settle for just seeing this place. Open your horizons and also include the Tangier American Legation which recalls the diplomatic and cultural relations between the United States and Morocco. Moreover, it is not just a space for observing, seeing and keeping quiet, but acts as a cultural entity where those interested may research, consult bibliographic collections etc. Inside await some interesting things which we will tell you about in the next section of this guide on the Tangier American Legation. Do not miss it. It is one of the essential places to see in Tangier.
- History of the Museum of the American Legation
- What you can see at the Tangier American Legation
- How to visit: opening hours, ticket prices…
- Hotels in the city of Tangier
History of the Museum of the American Legation
On trips to Tangier, it never ceases to surprise people to find out it is home to the American Legation. Also, if you want to know more about it, I´m sure this will be on your list in order to know why it was established in this city. Located in the heart of the medina in Tangier, in the same place where the United States legation has been for 150 years, this museum was the first public property of the United States abroad. The museum was created in order to commemorate diplomatic historic and cultural relations between the US and Morocco. Officially, the so-called Tangier American Legation now goes by the name of the Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies or TALIM. From its location at the historic heart of the city, there are activities organised by the institute and cultural centre.
- Perfect location with sea views
- Large outdoor swimming pool
- Excellent restaurants
- Spacious rooms measuring up to 64 m²
The relationship of the United States and Morocco began almost at the end of the American Revolution, since Morocco was one of the first countries to recognise the independence of the new nation. In 1778, president Franklin negotiated treaties with the Moroccan leaders to allow American ships into Moroccan ports. Keeping a legation at that time was of great interest for promoting trade with Europe. When World War 2 broke out relationships were strengthened and here intelligence services were established. Even when diplomatic activities passed to Rabat when Morocco became independent from France (1956) the Legation stayed in Tangier. Between 1961 and 1975 this “cultural centre” provided additional activities: a language school for diplomats and a training centre for the Peace Corps.
The Tangier American Legation began operations as such in 1976 and displayed documents, photographs and devices used to tell the story of north Africa and about the bilateral relations between the United States and Morocco. The building has been renovated over time, but has always preserved its architecture. It was even declared a National Historic Monument in 1982.
What you can see at the Tangier American Legation
The Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies (or TALIM) is worth a visit both for the impressive building it is located in (with beautiful mosaics, grated windows, carved doors and sophisticated furniture) as well as the collections there are inside. Inside there are many displays of works of art, as well as maps, models and photography which reflect both Moroccan culture and the diplomatic role of the American legation. Don´t forget the wing dedicated to the American writer, Paul Bowles.
It is a real pleasure to stroll around this extensive building. You can wonder at the landscaped courtyards, their marble fountains with bubbling water, or the terraces with panoramic views of the medina with the ocean in the background.
Also, remember that it acts as a cultural area where educational and research activities take precedent. One interesting fact is that on the museum website one can take a virtual tour so you can explore it at ease from the sofa in the building of the American Legation.
How to visit: opening hours, ticket prices…
To visit the Tangier American Legation head for the Rue d’Amerique, 8. Its opening hours are from Mondays to Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Saturdays it opens from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Bear in mind that it closes both on Sundays and on Moroccan bank holidays.
Entrance to the Tangier American Legation costs 20 dirhams, or 50 if it is a guided tour. It goes without saying that you will learn a lot of curious information if you choose the latter option, since there are many unusual things here.
Hotels in the city of Tangier
When you visit this city in the north of Morocco, you deserve to stay at an equally charming hotel, a comfortable place to unwind and enjoy your stay. One place we can recommend with all the guarantees that come with a Spanish hotel chain is Barceló Tánger. In this four-star hotel there are 138 large rooms with different categories, some of which have a beautiful terrace with a sea view. Its facilities include a large swimming pool, a restaurant, a café, a snack-bar and a pub where you can listen to live music. Also, it is in a privileged position for touring the historic quarter and relaxing on the Tangier beaches.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the Tangier American Legation?
The Tangier American Legation is located in the city centre. To get there head for rue d’Amerique number 8. This space, apart from acting as a museum, also contains an area where activities are carried out and there is a library which is open for research.
What can you see at the Tangier American Legation?
At the Tangier American Legation one can admire the magnificent building where it has been for over a century. There is also an extensive collection which reflects its years of diplomacy. You will need several hours to see the maps, models, photographs, uniforms and furniture.
What are the opening hours of the legation?
The opening hours of the Tangier American Legation are from Mondays to Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you go on Saturday bear in mind it closes at 3 p.m. It is closed on Sundays and bank holidays. See the timetable for guided tours.