About the Duchy

The history of what is now the Duchy of the Two Melillas started back in the age of the Phoenicians, who as early as in the VII century BC had already been governing Mellila and Ceuta, now Spanish enclaves on the North African coast, as independent city-states. The Phoenicians were succeeded by the Greeks and the Carthaginians, who succumbed to the Roman Empire, alongside the Iberian Peninsula. The Romans ultimately lost the enclaves to the Vandals and the Visigoths, who maintained possession of them until the VII century when they were conquered by the Arabs, who’d later proceed to conquer the entire Spain. The reconquest of Spain, known in Spanish as La Reconquista, was started in 722 by the successors of the Visigothic kingdoms with the Battle of Covadonga, and would last till the end of the XV century. In 1415 the Kingdom of Portugal reconquered Ceuta, and in 1497 the Duchy of Medina Sidonia reconquered Melilla, which became territory of the Spanish Crown itself in 1556.

In 1580 the Kingdom of Portugal reintegrated into the Kingdom of Spain, including, of course, Ceuta. Portugal would secede from Spain in 1640, however Ceuta independently chose to stay under the Spanish sovereignty, which has recognized by Portugal in 1668. Effectively, since 1580 and without interruptions both cities have been an integral part of Spain, although not without foreign attempts at conquering them. Ceuta was sieged by the Arabs in 1694 and by the British in 1704, as part of the War of the Spanish Succession. Melilla, too, has been suffering Arab sieges since 1774, which led to the Kingdom of Spain declaring war on the Sultanate of Morocco in 1859 (the Hispano-Moroccan War). The war ended in 1860 with a Spanish victory and a peace treaty which, among other things, provided for the establishment of neutral land strips between Morocco and the Spanish enclaves. The existence of these strips has been since then reaffirmed in a number of Spain-Morocco documents, such as in the Acts of Demarcation of Ceuta and Melilla and of the neutral strips, signed in 1860 and 1862, and in the Convention of 1894.

On 24 October 2018 these neutral strips, being so far unclaimed and not under jurisdiction of any country in the world, were declared territory of the newly-founded Duchy of the Two Melillas: the Two Melillas being the two strips. The Duchy is an absolute monarchy with Catholicism as the state religion. In accordance with the teaching of the Catholic Church and the motto on our Coat of Arms — Serpens decepit me, Latin for The serpent deceived me, a quote from Genesis — we believe in the inclination to evil of all human beings, whether Christian or not, and as such — in the equality of all humans. Citizenship of the Duchy of the Two Melillas can be, as of now, received only by residents of the enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta, and by Catholic Moroccan citizens living within 25 kilometers from our border.

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