"Essaouira or Mogador" Essaouira by amsterdam_vallon

Essaouira Travel Guide: 522 reviews and 1,426 photos

The white city

Essaouira has been visited by traders for hundreds of years.

Caravans are known to have brought ivory and gold dust here from Sub-Saharan Africa since the 11th century.

Essaouira had also been, from time to time, a favored private baunt.

The Portuguese built a fort here in 1506.

The town you see today was founded in 1785; it was built according to the plans of the French engineer corunt, imprisoned during the reign of Mohammed Ben Abdullah. It is for these reasons that, in contrast to other Moroccan medinas, the main roads here run straight and at right angles.

After the closing of the harbor at Agadir, Mogador gained in importance. Many Jewish merchants settled here. The caravans from Timbuktu brought ivory and gold in exchange for leather salt and sugar.

Consequently, when the French occupied Timbuktu early in the 20th century, Essaouira lost its eminence as a center for trade.

When you come to Essaouira you can see the tall house paint in white with blue doors.

Visiting Essaouira

Essaouira has a nice little collection of sights. None impressive, but all of great aesthetical value. The walled white town, the ramparts, the harbour and the streets of craftsmen working behind open doors.

1- Ramparts
2- The Sqala
3- The Port
4- The Medina
5- The Ancient Mellah
6- Notre-Dame church
7- The Beach
8- The Damgaard Gallery

Follow this link for a virtual visit of Essaouira : Follow the Guide

Unesco World Heritage

The Medina of Essaouira (formely Mogador) is under the autority of the Unesco World Heritage.

This is the mission of this organisation:

Protecting natural and cultural properties of outstanding
universal value against the threat of damage in a rapidly developing world.

Pros and Cons
  • In a nutshell:Favorite morrocan place for windsurf
  • Last visit to Essaouira: May 2003
  • Intro Updated Jan 26, 2004
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Reviews (19)

Comments (6)

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Mar 24, 2007 at 9:23 PM

    nice pics,looks like you toured essaouira well and ive also enjoyed a recent visit to essaouira. all the best for more travels ahead!

  • May 2, 2006 at 12:37 PM

    great page off to essaouira in sept thanks smc

  • Jan 11, 2004 at 5:10 PM

    great page, you are lucky to live in Joliette- practically the only good place to go skiing if you live in Toronto, like I do:)

  • Paul2001's Profile Photo
    Dec 28, 2003 at 6:45 PM

    Nice page with good photos.

  • Leipzig's Profile Photo
    Sep 14, 2003 at 10:27 AM

    Great start! brings back some memories. Will come back later to read more

  • globetrott's Profile Photo
    Aug 12, 2003 at 4:28 PM

    These trips might also be cheap in the beginning, and much more money is asked for at the end, BEFORE you may "disembark"... ;-))

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