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Ceuta

Trip Planner Europe  /  Spain  /  Ceuta
Ceuta is an 18.5km2 Spanish city located on the north coast of Africa, sharing a western border with Morocco. Separated from the Iberian peninsula by the Strait of Gibraltar, Ceuta lies along the boundary between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Ceuta, along with the Spanish exclave Melilla, is one of two permanently inhabited Spanish territories in mainland Africa. It was part of Cádiz province until 14 March 1995 when the city's Statute of Autonomy was passed.Ceuta, like Melilla, was a free port before Spain joined the European Union. As of 2011, it has a population of 82,376. Its population consists of Christians, Muslims, and small minorities of Jews and Indian Hindus. Spanish is the official language. The majority of the city's population are ethnic Spanish who are opposed to the idea of being ruled by Morocco.HistoryCeuta's location has made it an important commercial trade and military way-point for many cultures, beginning with the Carthaginians in the 5th century BC, who called the city Abyla; initially, this was also its name in Greek and Latin. (It was known variously as, Ἀβύλα, Ἀβλύξ, Ἀβίλη στήλη – Abyle, Abyla, Ablyx or Abile Stele – "Pillar of Abyle") and from Greek, Abyla (...Mons,...Columna, "Mount Abyla" or "Column of Abyla") in Latin. Together with Calpe on the European side, it formed one of the famous "Pillars of Hercules". Later, it was renamed for a formation of seven surrounding smaller mountains, collectively referred to as Septem Frates (' Seven Brothers') by Pomponius Mela, which lent their name to a Roman fortification known as Castellum ad Septem Fratres.
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