Stay in one of the quaint budget hotels in Melilla, and you will be in a unique community. Melilla, whose name means “white one” is an autonomous Spanish town on the coast of North Africa. Morocco claims Melilla for reasons going back to antiquity, but the claim is denied by Spain and the residents of Melilla. However, the local atmosphere is a strong blend of Spanish and Moroccan. There are also small but important Jewish and Hindu communities. Melilla is famous for its “Modernisme” architecture, which goes back to the early 20th century. Here you can also see the last statue of the dictator General Francisco Franco still standing on Spanish territory. Another attraction worth seeing is the Capilla de Santiago (St. James Chapel), which is the only example of genuine Gothic architecture in Africa. A must-see is the Ciudadela (Citadel), the 15th century walled city that is perched on a rock above the modern town. This has been declared a historic-artistic monument. The view from the old lighthouse is spectacular. There are several fascinating museums, and visitors can also explore caves.
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