Idea #448 – Exploring the Portuguese City of El Jadida in Morocco
El Jadida (in arabic : الجديدة, amazigh : ⵎⴰⵣⴰⴳⵏ), historically called Mazagan, is a coastal city of Morocco, at 96 km from Casablanca. In 1514, the Portuguese build the walled city of Mazagão. It is a stage of the Portuguese explorers on the road of India. First simple castle was flanked of four tours, ramparts enclose finally the city which developed in its foot, from 1542.
In 1729, Mazagan is besieged by the Moroccans. On the eve of the assault, commander of the place receives from Lisbon the order to evacuate the city, and decide before his departure to mine bastions. When the Moroccans penetrate in the city, a series of explosions destroys bulwarks, of which the bastion of the Governor, and the fact of numerous victims. Between the liberation of the city and till the beginning of the XIXth century, the city is then called El-Mehdoûma, “the Ruined”. Moulay Abd ar-Rahman, proclaimed a sultan in 1822, decide to restore the walled city and to call her El Jadida, “the New One”.
The fortifications of the Portuguese city establish an early example of the Portuguese military architecture of the Renaissance. The still visible Portuguese buildings are the Portuguese tank, the Portuguese fortress of Mazagan among which 4 bastions on 5 remain, and the church of the Assumption, built in the style manuélin. They offer an exceptional testimony of the influences crossed between the European and Moroccan cultures. From the beginning of the XIXth century, the city extends very beyond what is no more than a historic island at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. The city is registered on the list of the heritage of the UNESCO since 2004.
Where is it?
Mazagan, Al Jadida, Morocco