El Jadida Mazagan, world heritage site
A calm city with captivating charm, El Jadida, diverse and mixed, proudly exhibits its many faces to its visitors. In 2004, Mazagan was labeled as a world heritage site and in Januray 2011, the area was voted the 27th best world destination by the magazine Geo.

The former Mazagan, these days an attraction for national and international tourists who come to take advantage of the rich possibilities, consists of an important historical heritage site, beautiful nature sites and temperate climate all year round.

A cultural city, El Jadida has enviously kept, over time and by the will of men, its many historical monuments that call to mind its glorious and tumultuous past.
Distinctlively, the city offers natual landscapes of unrivaled beauty, a string of beaches spreading out more than 150 kilometers, and a rich backcountry where one can discover the characteristics and realities of daily life in small villages. Weekly souks, moussems and festivals are also a great opportunity to discover the distinctive socioculture of the region.

A little history
"Rusibis", "Mazagan", "El Breija", "Al Mahdouma", "El Jadida", are the various names attributed to this glorious and mysterious city, all with a special place in the area’s long history.
The name El Jadida, literally translated as "the new", is not the first name of this city, whose coasts were reached by the Phonecians who then set up trading posts.
Centuries later,in 1502, the Portuguese accidentily landed in the area after their boat sank in the surrounding waters.
Fascinated and dazzled by its beautiful bay, its ideal geographical position and its agricultural and maritime treasures, the Portuguese built, between 1513 and 1514, a fortified city dominated by an imposing castle.

The city experienced tremendous growth and became the principle trading post along the atlantic coast, staying this way until 1769, the year it was taken over by Sultan Alaouite Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah.

Under the French Protectorate, the city became Mazagan again and General Lyautey nicknamed it "Moroccan Deauville" in comparison to the seaside resort "Deauville" along the French atlantic coast.
Proclaimed a universal heritage site on June 30th 2004 during the 28th session of the World Heritage Site Committee held in China, El Jadida (the white) gurads the remains of a glorious past while borrowing from a mix of civilizations, cultures and religions.

The Portuguese City
From the beginning, one is struck by the military characteristics of the city such as its canons pointed towards the oceans and its ramparts outlining the medina, all of which are a witness to the art of European fortification during the 16th century.

Strolling through the maze of alleyways in the medina, one can admire the mix of architectural cultures (Christian, Muslim and Jewish) reflected in the old buildings and structures. A masterpiece of Portuguese architecture, the city was classified as a World Heritage Site.

The Portuguese Cistern
A masterpiece of the Manuelin architectural style, this cistern is considered one of Morocco’s jewels.
Constructed in 1514, it started as a weapons storage room before it was transformed into a tank to supply the medina with drinkable water during states of war. The best time to visit the site is around 11 am.

Overlooked and forgotten since the explusion of the Portuguese, the monument was accidentily rediscovered in 1916 by a grocer who wanted to expand his shop until the wall of the cistern. The fame of this architectural gem grabbed the attention of great international artists like Orson Welles, who filmed several scenes for his movie “Othello” at the cisterne in 1949.

The Church of the Assumption
The church stands in the interior of a compound. In the area one can find the mosque "Jamaa Abdelhak", marked by its five-sided minaret.

Porta do mar
Situated at the end of the central street, this vault is carved into the wall and closed by a gate overlooking the ocean. It was the passage by which the Portuguese fled in 1769.

Lighthouse of Sidi Bouafi
South east of the city, near the road to Oualidia. Sixty five meters high, with a range of 72 kilometers, this lighthouse has 6000 watts of power.

Climbing 248 steps to reach the summit, one can find a great panoramic view of the ocean, the industrial complex of Jorf-Lasfar and the city.

The ramparts
The Portuguese city, whose ramparts flank the bastions still armed by old canons, consists of only the Kasbah.
After crossing the bridge and walking along the ramparts of the medina until the market square, continue with a car to tour the Kasbah.
A small paved road leads to the north east corner of the ramparts where a platform was converted into a parking lot.
From this location one can look out at the mouth of the river Oum er-Rbia.
When returning, follow the walkway to rejoin the western ramparts and discover the houses of the old jewish quarter and the kasbah, squeezed together within the walls.

Dar el baroud
Former powder keg whose ruins are dominated by a big tower, which still contains a Gothic window.

View of the El Jadida Port
Facing the Angel bastion in the port of El Jadida, or along the Suez boulevard, a number of restaurants allow you to taste excellent fried fish while passing wonderful moments near the water.

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