The Grand Socco in Tangiers, Morocco, North Africa

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The "Grand Socco", which is Spanish for Large Market, is located right in the heart of Tangiers, northeast of the Medina.

Nowadays, the square is no longer a marketplace; it's more like a city crossroads, fronted by cafes, outside the walled in, old part of the city.

This is the real heart of Tangiers and a great place to start a tour of the city. It's also the point where the modern city meets the old town. The streets suddenly turn narrow and winding as you enter the heart of old Tangiers. The area used to be full of snake charmers, musicians and storytellers, but nowadays it's more of a transportation junction, mainly for taxis.

The Grand Socco is the perfect place to go if you want to get a real feel for the city and its people. You can just chill out and watch the passing parades of city dwellers and Rif women in their colourful traditional costumes. It gets very hectic. At every moment there's a thousand tongues wagging; people buying, selling; bargaining, arguing. It's fascinating - colorful in every way.

This is where sultan Mohammed V made his famous speech referring to independence for Morocco on the 9th of April 1947.

The Grand Socco is a dynamic mixture of contrasting lifestles, colours, architechture and house styles; a colourful meeting point of old and new, where the old city is flanked by modern Western-style houses.

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