"Cite Portugaise and El Jadida" Morocco Off The Beaten Path Tip by Waxbag
Morocco Off The Beaten Path: 235 reviews and 417 photos
El Jadida is a port city on the Atlantic coast of Morocco just south of Casablanca. The 500 year old medina of El Jadida with its impressive fortifications, called Cite Portugaise, makes for a great day of exploring. Previously known as Mazagan before seized in 1502 by the Portuguese El Jadida was made into a bustling port city. Now the old medina is more of a sleepy well worn village. There are a few sites worth seeing that the portuguese built like, the church of the assumption, the five sided lighthouse now the minaret of the grand mosque, and the impressive Portuguese Cistern, a vast subterranean vault that has a thin film of water which reflects the columns and vaulted ceiling with spectacular effect. The cistern was used with dramatic results in Orson Welle?s Othello. The Sea Gate is one of the town?s most unique features through which ships unloaded their cargo from the protected harbor. The ramparts are some of the most impressive in Morocco and give the visitor great views of the city and its harbor. An interesting stop is the communal bakery located within the massive ramparts. Locals can bring their dough here to be baked for a price listed on the wall.
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The medina had a large jewish community that was moved here from Azemmour to handle trade and commerce. The synagogue still stands. The ramparts also afford great views of the harbor and the afternoon castle diving by brave children.
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