City in Morocco with 70,000 inhabitants. Essaouira is situated on the Atlantic coast, in the middle of Morocco. The economical base of the city is tourism,fishing and handcrafts,.
Essaouira is one of North Africa's most beautiful cities and
offers a mixture of Portuguese, French, and Berber architecture.
H I S T O R Y
End 15th century:
The Portuguese found the city of Mogador, a military and commercial bridgehead for the western coast of Africa.
1541 The Portuguese lose Mogador to local tribesmen The city goes into decline.
Sultan (king) Sidi Muhammad ibn Abdallah gets the French architect Theodore
Cornut to draw up a city fitted for foreign traders as well as military purposes. The name Essaouira is introduced.
19th century: Essaouira is
the only port on the coast open to Europeans, and free of duties.
1912: With the French protectorate, Mogador as name,
is reintroduced. The city's importance declines as much activity is moved to Casablanca.
1956: Independence, the Moroccan name Essaouira is used again. The Jewish
community leaves and the economy is reduced to fishing and market activities.