Travel Blogging

All about the City of Laayoune

There are many places around the world which are the top tourist spots. You may not find those places in the best of countries, but they attract a lot of tourists every year. One of such places is in the Sahara desert near the border of Morocco, Algeria, and Mauritania. The city is known as Laayoune which is an Arabic word. In Spanish, it is called El-Aaiun. The word means “Springs.” Currently, the city has a population of 240,000. Here is bit more information about the city.

The establishment

The city has a very long history. The date of establishment goes back to 1937. It is also the largest city in the Western Sahara. The Spanish first colonized the city back in the year 1937. The name of the colonizer was Antonio De Oro. During their reign, the Spanish named the city as the capital of the Spanish Sahara, and they named it El-Aaiun meaning springs. They named the city with the name of “Spring” because of its location. It was at that time called Ayoune El Medelchi( which means smooth water spring). The city is 25 km from the Atlantic Ocean.

Early history

At the time of its colonization and after that, the Spanish used the city for military purposes. The Spanish military families lived on the town. The town was purely under Spanish control. Soon the natives came and tried to settle in the town.

Spanish Regimen

It was the time during ECOUVILLON military operations. It was the time when both French and Spanish militaries were trying to crush the Saharan liberty. It was then, in the early fifties when the nomads came and settled in the town. As the time passed, the number of the local inhabitants increased.

By the end of the 60s, the city got divided, and there were now two parts of the city namely: the modern town and the town. The town was for the natives, and the modern town was for the settlers.

By the end of the 70s, the Spanish started to develop the city into the more modern city. The nomad inhabitants of the place did not like the modernization, and as a result, the Spanish were forced out. It was the end of the Spanish regime in the area.

Modern City

Since then the city is an “undisputed” territory. The city is currently under the Laâyoune-Sakia El Hamra which is the state under Moroccan administration along with the supervision of MINURSO (the peace-keeping mission of United Nations in the Sahara).

Today the city is full of life. It is one of the most advanced places in the world, yet very cultural and Saharan.

A great tourist spot

The city has great tourist spots. The city has rivers, and sand dunes both. It is also great for the wildlife. The city has state of the art hotels and restaurants. There are mosques and also cathedrals built in the early period of the city. It is a great place in the heart of the Sahara.