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El Jadida
The medina of El Jadida
El Jadida is located in Morocco
El Jadida
Location in Morocco
Coordinates: 33°14′N 8°30′W / 33.233°N 8.5°W / 33.233; -8.5
Country  Morocco
Region Doukkala-Abda
Province Province of El Jadida
Population (2004)
 - Total 144,440
Time zone WET (UTC+0)
 - Summer (DST) WEST (UTC+1)

El Jadida (Amazigh: Mazghan, Arabic:الجديدة) is a port city on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, in the province of El Jadida. It has a population of 144,440 (2004 census). From the sea, El Jadida has a very un-Moorish appearance; it has massive Portuguese walls of hewn stone.[1]

El Jadida, previously known as Mazagan (Portuguese: Mazagão), was seized in 1502 by the Portuguese, and they controlled this city until 1769, when they abandoned Mazagão. Its inhabitants were evacuated to Brazil, where they founded new settlement Nova Mazagão (now in Amapá). El Jadida was then taken over by Sultan Mohammed ben Abdallah.

El Jadida fortified town.
Manueline cistern of the El Jadida fortress.

The Portuguese Fortified City of Mazagan was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004, on the basis of its status as an "outstanding example of the interchange of influences between European and Moroccan cultures" and as an "early example of the realisation of the Renaissance ideals integrated with Portuguese construction technology".

Portuguese City of Mazagan (El Jadida)*
UNESCO World Heritage Site
State Party  Morocco
Type Cultural
Criteria ii, iv
Reference 1058
Region** Arab States
Inscription history
Inscription 2004  (28th Session)
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.
** Region as classified by UNESCO.

According to UNESCO[2], the most important buildings from the Portuguese period are the cistern, and the Manueline Church of the Assumption.

At present, the city's main exports are beans, almonds, maize, chick-peas, wool, hides, wax and eggs. It imports cotton, sugar, tea and rice. The presence of nearby ports and factories is responsible for the pollution of El Jadida's beaches.

The modern city of Essaouira (containing some of the earliest recorded Phoenician settlement history of Morocco: the archaeological ruins of Mogador[3]) connects to El Jadida from the south via the R301 road.



  • Cheikh Chouaib Doukkali, former minister of Justice and president of the Appellate court
  • Driss Chraïbi, author
  • Driss Jettou, former Prime Minister
  • [Abdelkebir Khatibi], author

Town twinning


  1. ^ Paula Hardy, Heidi Edsall, Mara Vorhees (2005). Morocco. Lonely Planet. ISBN 1740596781.  
  2. ^ Portuguese City of Mazagan (El Jadida) - UNESCO World Heritage Centre
  3. ^ C.Michael Hogan, Mogador: Promontory Fort, The Megalithic Portal, ed. Andy Burnham, November 2, 2007 [1]

External links


Coordinates: 33°14′N 8°30′W / 33.233°N 8.5°W / 33.233; -8.5


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Africa : North Africa : Morocco : El Jadida

El Jadida is a coastal town 100km south of Casablanca in Morocco.

The town is very much the holiday destination for Morocco's more wealthy city dwellers. With long beaches and a more relaxed atmosphere, it makes a welcome relief to the hustle-and-bustle of the larger cities inland. The town's other economy is its fishing industry.

The town is famous for the remains of Portuguese buildings and the Cistern. Although these are fairly limited attractions. Even the most dedicated historian may find their interest waning after an hour.

Get in

by Bus

There are many (3-5?) buses a day from Agadir to El Jadida. From the north, there are also buses (howmany??? 2?) a day all the way from Rabat, through Casablanca.

Many buses arrive at night. You are likely to find your hostel or campsite closed at 3:30am. If you have sleeping bags or a tent ground sheet, sleeping on the beach is possible. You may wake up damp from the salt spray though.

by Train

ONCF [1] trains depart every 2 hours from Casablanca Port and Casablanca Voyageurs train stations. The trip is around 1 hour, 30 minutes.

Get around

El Jadida is quite spread out along the sea front. It probably takes an hour to walk from one end of the centre to the other.

  • Portuguese ruins(?)
  • Beach (?)
  • Relax in one of the restaurants or cafes in the town. Especially if this is towards the end of your trip, as it is for many. You'll find this town far more chilled than Marrakech or Fez


A few more 'western-style' restaurants along sea front, north of town centre.


Mint tea is available at the massive cafe in the centre of town, down the main road from near the entrance to the Medina.

  • Campsite, The campsite is at the North East end of town, located about 5 minutes walk from the large roundabout near the sea.
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