History in Chaouen
Chaouen was founded in 1471. It was established as a base for attacks on the Portuguese who where in Ceuta and Ksar es-Sghir. The neighboring tombs of Saint like Moulay Abdessalam Ben Mchich gave the town a regional importance on religious matters. When moslims fled Spain and Christian held cities in North Africa Chaouen grew rapidly. After this rapid growth the town slowly declined and was of little importance when the Spaniards established themselves in 1920.
One of the three Europeans to set foot in Chaouen before 1920 was Walter Harris. This colourful man has written a number of books on Morocco just before the protectorate. Try to get a copy of Morocco That Was, a very funny book on his days in the country.