Attraction Details

El Jadida

El Jadida
Maza?an / Mazaghan / ?
Panorama of El Jadida
Panorama of El Jadida
El Jadida is located in Morocco
El Jadida
El Jadida
Location in Morocco
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Country Morocco
Region Doukkala-Abda
Province Province of El Jadida
Population (2010)
 • Total 147,549
Time zone WET (UTC+0)
 • Summer (DST) WEST (UTC+1)
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Official name Portuguese City of Mazagan (El Jadida)
Type Cultural
Criteria ii, iv
Designated 2004 (28th session)
Reference no. 1058
State Party Morocco
Region Arab States
Market, El Jadida, 2012

El Jadida (Berber: Maza?an, Mazaghan, ?; Moroccan Arabic: , ejjdida; Arabic: ? Al-Jadida; Portuguese: Mazagão) 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's old city has a very "un-Moorish" appearance; it has massive Portuguese walls of hewn stone.

Manueline cistern of the El Jadida fortress.
Ramparts of El Jadida

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

The city, and particularly its neighbouring town of Sidi Bouzid, becomes extremely busy in the summer season with an influx of mainly Moroccan holiday-makers. Nearby is the 5* resort complex of Mazagan, which attracts the Moroccan elite as well as many international visitors from the Persian Gulf as well as from Europe and beyond. Mazagan has a golf course designed by Gary Player, casino, nightclub and restaurants. Between Mazagan and El Jadida is the Pullman Hotel, attached to which is Royal Golf El Jadida, another 18-hole course. The presence of nearby ports and factories is responsible for the pollution of El Jadida's beaches.

At present, the city's main exports are beans, almonds, maize, chickpeas, wool, hides, wax and eggs. It imports cotton, sugar, tea and rice. The city is expanding as of 2014, partly as a result of increased activity at the nearby Jorf Lasfar port and industrial area.

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