Asilah is a fortified town on the northwest tip of the Atlantic coast of Morocco, about 31 km (19 miles) south of Tangier. Its ramparts and gateworks remain fully intact.
The town's history dates back to 1500 B.C., when the Phoenicians used it as a base for trade. The Portuguese conquered the city in 1471, but later it was decided to abandon it because of an economic debt crisis in 1549. Later in 1578, Sebastian of Portugal used Asilah as a base town for his troops during a planned crusade that resulted in Sebastian's death, which in turn caused the Portuguese succession crisis of 1580. The Moroccans in 1589 regained control of Asilah briefly, but then lost control of it to the Spanish.