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Essaouira ‘the well designed’ a good example of diversity and coexistence

Essaouira ‘the well designed’ a good example of diversity and coexistence

Essaouira means in Berber ‘the well designed’, it is a fortified city dating from the Phoenicians time who gave it a nickname of Migdol (small fortress). In 1506, the city became the seat of a Portuguese fortress consolidated by the construction of ramparts. This citadel is today the outstanding example of a fortified coastal city of the late eighteenth century, built with contemporary European military architecture with a North African touch in perfect harmony with the rules of Arab-islamic architecture and urban planning.  Since its foundation, it has been a big international commercial harbor, connecting particularly Morocco and the sub-Saharan countries to Europe and the rest of the world in general.

Essaouira city is also an example of multicultural center feeds by the coexistence of diversified ethnic groups, as the Amazighs, the Arabs, the Africans and the Europeans as well as the Muslims, Christian and Jewish. Inseparable from the Medina, the archipelago of Mogador includes many cultural and natural sites of an exceptional universal value.

Its foundation, relatively late compared to the other cities of North Africa, was the work of the Alawi sultan Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdallah (1757-1790) who wished to make of this Atlantic town a royal port and a Moroccan commercial center open to the outside world. Thus, in 1765 the sultan had asked the imprisoned French architect Nicolas Théodore Cornut to draw a real port city on the old Portuguese trading post of Mogador, the French engineer was deeply influenced by the work of his engineer professor, military architect and urban planner Vauban (1633-1707). Long known as the port of Timbuktu, Essaouira became one of the main commercial centers of the Atlantic Ocean between Africa and Europe at the end of the 18th century and during the 19th century.

Today Essaouira still keeps its history and architecture, even the islands in front of the port, which are visible from the beach and protect the bay and the beach, commonly called Mogador Islands were transformed into a nature reserve and refuge of hawks of Eleanor (Species of migratory raptors). For many years, the unique setting of Essaouira does not stop inspiring many famous artists and international directors.