Discovering North Africa’s Art Nouveau Treasures in Melilla

Finding myself at the base of “La Reconquista,” Melilla’s finest example of Art Nouveau architecture, I forget I’ve crossed continents from Spain into North Africa. As my eyes wander up the organic forms curving into flowers and tendrils on the pastel walls, guiding up to red-pinecone shaped turrets, I hear the animated dialogue in Tarifit, a northern Berber dialect, from the open window above me. The city of Melilla has been Spanish territory since the 15th century, but it shares a land-border with Morocco and is only 60 miles down the coast from Algeria. This autonomous city is a Spanish

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