Essaouira

Essaouira the mogador


Essaouira, formerly known as Mogador, is a city in the western Moroccan economic region of Marrakesh-Safi, on the Atlantic coast. The modern name means "the little rampart", a reference to the fortress walls that still enclose part of the city.

You don't need to be a location scout to spot the appeal of Essaouira, on Morocco's Atlantic coast, for photographers and filmmakers. The working harbour is packed with brightly painted boats. Seagulls swoop, as sardine-fishermen wheel box-loads of silvery fish towards the open-air grill-restaurants that crowd the harbour. And the souks of Essaouira's Medina ("old town") and its Jewish Mellah area are typically Moroccan... Show more

La scala

In 1766, Sultan Sidi Mohammad ben Abdallah engaged Théodore Cornut, a French architect, to design the new city. He worked three years on constructing the Scala of the port and the Scala of the Kasbah. The sultan then let the English architect Ahmed el Aalj fulfil the project.
The harbour entrance, with the "Porte de la Marine", was built by an English renegade by the name of Ahmed el Inglizi ("Ahmed the English or Ahmed the Renegade").
There are Bronze artillery guns brought from Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands. Inscriptions say that the bronze to fabric the guns came from Mexico and Peru. Most of the guns were made in Sevilla and Barcelona between 1743 and 1782.

Le vieux port

The town's port was known as the “ Port of Timbuktu ” because most African products for export ended up there, including slaves (children of Bambara, in the gnaoua mythology).
Sultan Ben Abdellah promoted free trade policies by reducing customs and encouraging the settlement of rich merchants and Jews to handle trade with Christians.
A quarter for foreign merchants was also established. By 1780, the port was handling almost half of Morocco 's international trade. Export items included ostrich feathers, almonds, gum Arabic, ivory and dried camel skins (which were imported from sub-Saharan Africa through the caravan trade), while the British imported Manchester cotton and tea.

The medina

The old town, the "Medina" is walled with several gates. The most precious part is the Kasbah where there was the Sultanate, courthouse and where we find the old European and Brazilian consulates since the glorious times when Essaouira was a prosperous trading port.
The geometrical plan of the medina was influenced by European town planning. The quarters are separated by the 2 main axes going from Bab El Menzah to Bab Doukkala and from Bab Marrakech to Bab Al Bahar.
When Mellah Qadim (old) was too small there was a new place for the Jews to live at the north corner of the medina at Bab Doukkala.
Residential areas in Derb Ahl Agadir, Bani Antar and Bouakhir are influenced by traditional Arabic... Show more

Argan oil

Argan oil is by locals used for nutrition and traditional medicine but has also been used to fabricate soft soap - saboun baldi.
Today there is a great exploitation of the argan forests because of the cosmetic values of argan oil. It has also become very expensive. Not only because it is needed about 88 pounds (40 kg) of raw fruits to extract 1 kg of oil and it takes about 8 hours of manual work, mostly by women. But also because the overheated tourist market and demand for export by global cosmetic factories.