Tangier banknotes

Spanish occupation from 1940 to 1945

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Historical context

Tangier is the gateway to Morocco! The city is located at the western end of the Strait of Gibraltar, 27 km from the southern tip of Spain. In the 4th century BC, the Phoenicians make it one of the most important trading posts in the Mediterranean area. Then the city becomes a Roman colony and is renamed Tingis. After 500 years of Roman occupation, Tangier fell successively into the hands of the Vandals, the Byzantines and finally the Arabs, from 682 to 1471. Portuguese then Spanish influence then dominated until 1662. The city was finally returned to Morocco in 1684 and became its diplomatic capital during the 19th century.

In 1923, Tangier became an international zone and the city was administered by nine different countries including France! When World War II broke out, Franco's Spanish troops took advantage of the defeat of France to occupy Tangier. On November 20, 1940, the city was attached to the Spanish zone and the representative of the Sultan (Mendoub) was expelled. On March 17, 1941, the German consul moved to Mendoubia (1). This period of Spanish occupation ends on October 9, 1945, when Spain finally withdraws its troops from the city. The pearl of northern Morocco then regained its international and free citizenship ... until 1960, when the Moroccan government abolished tax benefits and Tangier found itself with an identical status to that of other cities in the Kingdom.

Two types of francos

Tangier city banknotes were issued between 1941 and 1942 by a decree of the German city governor. A first issue of 4 banknotes of 0.25 francos, 0.50 francos, 1 franco and 2 francos is put into circulation by the municipal services of the city (Servicios Municipales). These banknotes are dated August 1941 (Series A) and March 1942 (Series B).


A second issue was put into circulation in 1942 by the Council of Municipal Services (Junta de Servicios Municipales). The banknotes are practically identical to the first issue of 1941-1942 except for the title on the back "Junta de Servicios Municipales", the Series C and the date October 1942 on the front.


Finally, we have added to this catalog, two banknotes of 0.50 francs and 1 franc issued by the Union Commerciale Indochinoise et Africaine (Indochinese and African Trade Union). The information concerning this issue (French?) Is rather incomplete and we have not found any photo to illustrate the card of 1 franc.

All the banknotes issued during the occupation of the city of Tangier by the Spanishs are obviously very rare and difficult to find in good quality.


(1) The Mendoubia is the palace which was the residence of the Sultan with the Tangier International Commission. The building became a Commercial Court in 1945.

Our sources

  • "Tangier" Bank Note Museum website.
  • The Banknote Book "Tangier" by Owen W. Linzmeyer.
  • "Tangier" Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, 1368-1960, 12th edition (pages 1135).
  • "Les billets du Maghreb et du Levant" by MM. Maurice Muszynski et Maurice Kolsky. Victor Gadoury editions, 2002 (pages 289 to 293).
  • Photo Archive: Bank Note Museum, cgb.fr and Heritage Auctions.

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