El Jadida

El Jadida (Berber: Maziɣen, ⵎⴰⵣⵉⵗⴻⵏ, Arabic: الجديدة or مازيغن‎, Portuguese: Mazagão) is a port city on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, located 106 km south of the city of Casablanca in the region of Doukkala-Abda and the province of El Jadida. It has a population of 194,934 (2014 census).[1] From the sea, El Jadida's old city has a very "un-Moorish" appearance; it has massive Portuguese walls of hewn stone.[2]

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,[3] the most important buildings from the Portuguese period are the cistern, and the Manueline Church of the Assumption.

The city, and particularly its neighboring town of Sidi Bouzid, becomes extremely busy in the summer season with an influx of mainly Moroccan holiday-makers. Nearby is the five-star 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.

El Jadida

Maziɣen / ⵎⴰⵣⵉⵗⴻⵏ / مازيغن / الجديدة
La Citerne portugaise
El Jadida
Al Jadid (Marzagão)
Forteresse Jadida 05
Panorama of El Jadida
Panorama of El Jadida
El Jadida is located in Morocco
El Jadida
El Jadida
Location in Morocco
Coordinates: 33°14′N 8°30′W / 33.233°N 8.500°W
ProvinceEl Jadida
 • Total194,934
 • Rank16th in Morocco
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
Official namePortuguese City of Mazagan (El Jadida)
Criteriaii, iv
Designated2004 (28th session)
Reference no.1058
State PartyMorocco
RegionArab States
El Jadida, Mazagan
Market, El Jadida, 2012


  • The Cannons and the Fortress
  • The Municipal Theater of El Jadida
  • The Old Port
  • The Old City
  • The Portuguese cistern
  • The city's beach Plage d'el Jadida

Portuguese cistern

Expanded since 1514, this former warehouse (possibly an armory) was converted into a cistern in the sixteenth century. The underground chamber, measuring 34 meters by 34 meters, was constructed with five rows of five stone pillars. The cistern is famous especially for the thin layer of water that covers the floor, and which creates fine and everchanging reflections from the little light there is and the spartan shapes of the columns and the roof. Its visual qualities are such that several movies have been filmed within the cavernous space, of which Orson Welles' Othello is the best known internationally.

Fortress of Mazagan

The design of the Fortress of Mazagan is a response to the development of modern artillery in the Renaissance.[4] The star form of the fortress measures c 250m by 300m. The slightly inclined, massive walls are c 8m high on average, with a thickness of 10m, enclosing a patrolling peripheral walkway 2m wide. At the present time the fortification has four bastions: the Angel Bastion in the east, St Sebastian in the north, St Antoine in the west, and the Holy Ghost Bastion in the south. The fifth, the Governor’s Bastion at the main entrance, is in ruins, having been destroyed by the Portuguese in 1769. Numerous colonial-era Portuguese cannons are still positioned on top of the bastions.

The fort had three gates: the Seagate, forming a small port with the north-east rampart, the Bull Gate in the north-west rampart, and the main entrance with a double arch in the centre of the south rampart, originally connected to land via a drawbridge. A ditch, c 20m wide and 3m deep, formerly filled with seawater, surrounded the fort. During the time of the French Protectorate the ditch was filled in with earth and a new entrance gate was opened leading to the main street, the Rua da Carreira, and to the Seagate. Along this street are situated the best preserved historic buildings, including the Catholic Church of the Assumption and the cistern.


El Jadida, previously known by the Berbers as Mazighen (Portuguese: Mazagão), was seized by the Portuguese in 1502. The Portuguese built a citadel in 1514, and a larger fortification in 1541.[5] The Portuguese would continue to control the city until 1769, when they abandoned Mazagão, their last territory in Morocco. Upon their forced departure, the Portuguese destroyed the Governor's Bastion and evacuated to the Portuguese colony of Brazil, where they founded a new settlement called Nova Mazagão (now in Amapá). The city was then taken over by Sultan Mohammed ben Abdallah in 1769 and remained uninhabited, having been dubbed al-Mahdouma (The Ruined). Eventually, Sultan Abd al-Rahman of Morocco ordered that a mosque be built and the destroyed portions of the city rebuilt. The reinvigorated city was renamed al-Jadida, or The New.[6]


El Jadida has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csa). In winter there is more rainfall than in summer. The average annual temperature in El Jadida is 17.4 °C (63.3 °F). About 372 mm (14.65 in) of precipitation falls annually.


The community houses a French international school, Groupe Scolaire Jean Charcot, Chouaib Doukkali University, and ENCG El Jadida.

Nearby cities

The modern city of Essaouira (containing some of the earliest recorded Phoenician settlement history of Morocco: the archaeological ruins of Mogador)[7] connects to El Jadida from the south via the R301 road. The town of Sidi Bouzid is located to its southwest and Azemmour is located to its northeast.

Notable people

Town twinning

See also


  1. ^ a b "POPULATION LÉGALE DES RÉGIONS, PROVINCES, PRÉFECTURES, MUNICIPALITÉS, ARRONDISSEMENTS ET COMMUNES DU ROYAUME D'APRÈS LES RÉSULTATS DU RGPH 2014" (in Arabic and French). High Commission for Planning, Morocco. 8 April 2015. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  2. ^ Paula Hardy; Heidi Edsall; Mara Vorhees (2005). Morocco. Lonely Planet. ISBN 1-74059-678-1.
  3. ^ "Portuguese City of Mazagan (El Jadida) - UNESCO World Heritage Centre". Whc.unesco.org. Retrieved 2013-02-10.
  4. ^ "Portuguese City of Mazagan (El Jadida) - UNESCO Advisory Body Evaluation" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-02-10.
  5. ^ "Portuguese City of Mazagan (El Jadida) - World Heritage Site - Pictures, info and travel reports". www.worldheritagesite.org. Retrieved 2017-02-13.
  6. ^ "Portuguese City of Mazagan (El Jadida) - UNESCO World Heritage Centre". Whc.unesco.org. Retrieved 2013-06-29.
  7. ^ Hogan, C. Michael (November 2, 2007). "Mogador: Promontory Fort". The Megalithic Portal, ed. Andy Burnham.

External links

Coordinates: 33°14′N 8°30′W / 33.233°N 8.500°W

2013 CAF Beach Soccer Championship

The 2013 CAF Beach Soccer Championship took place from 22 May to 26 May 2013, in El Jadida, Morocco, for the first time. It is the second time in Morocco, following Casablanca hosting the previous qualification tournament in 2011. It was originally scheduled for 10 - 14 April and then for 29 May - 2 June 2013. The two finalists of the championship will be the nations who will qualify for the World Cup and go on to represent Africa in Tahiti in September.

All matches are to be held at the Mazagan Beach Resort in El Jadida.

Abderrahmane Sbai

Abderrahmane Sbai (Arabic: عبد الرحمان السباعي‎ – 1940 – 22 October 2010) was a Moroccan politician and civil servant who was Delegate-Minister for the Administration of National Defense from 1997 to 2010. He held a degree in "geographic engineering".Born at Fes in 1940, he attended primary and secondary school in El Jadida. He died in Rabat in October 2010.


Azemmour or Azamor (Berber: Azemmur, meaning: olive; Portuguese: Azamor) is a Moroccan city, lying at the Atlantic ocean coast, on the left bank of the Oum Er-Rbia River, 75 km southwest of Casablanca.

Casablanca–Safi expressway

The Autoroute Casablanca–Safi is an expressway in Morocco.

The road is 255.5 km (158.8 mi) long and connects the cities of Casablanca and Safi through the city of El Jadida.

Difaâ Hassani El Jadidi

Difaâ Hassani d'el-Jadida (DHJ) (Arabic: الدفاع الحسني الجديدي‎) is a Moroccan football club based in El Jadida. They play their home games at Stade El Abdi and are in the first division of Moroccan football.

Driss Chraïbi

Driss Chraïbi (July 15, 1926, El Jadida – April 1, 2007, Drôme, France) was a Moroccan author whose novels deal with colonialism, culture clashes, generational conflict and the treatment of women and are often semi-autobiographical.Born in El Jadida and educated in Casablanca, Chraïbi went to Paris in 1946 to study chemistry before turning to literature and journalism. His first novel, The Simple Past, was published in 1954.

Other works by Driss Chraïbi:

Butts (1955)

From All Horizons (1956)

The Crowd (1961)

Heirs to the Past (1962)

The Ass (1965)

A Friend Is Coming To See You (1967)

Mother Comes of Age (1972)

The Flutes of Death (1981)

The Mother of Springtime (1982)

Birth at Dawn (1986)

Inspector Ali (1991)Chraïbi wrote two children's books.

Driss Jettou

Driss Jettou (Arabic: إدريس جطو‎) (born 24 May 1945) was the Prime Minister of Morocco from 2002 to 2007.

El Jadida Airport

El Jadida Airport (ICAO: GMMJ) was an airport serving the city of El Jadida, Morocco.Google Earth Historical Imagery from 4/28/2002 shows a 1,524 metres (5,000 ft) grass runway 04/22. 07/13/2005 image shows a highway cut through, and the current satellite image shows the area covered with streets and apartment blocks.

The surface of the airport measured 92ha and was transformed in 2008 into a real-estate development project by the firm CGI (subsidiary of the CDG fund) and a Marjane hypermarket was opened there in 2013.

El Jadida Province

El Jadida Province (in Arabic: الجديدة) is a province of Morocco, located in the region of Casablanca-Settat. The province takes its name from the chief city of El Jadida. Its population in 2006 was 1,128,098.

Groupe Scolaire Jean Charcot

Groupe Scolaire Jean Charcot is a French international school in El Jadida, Morocco. Affiliated with the OSUI of the Mission laïque française (MLF), it serves petite section through terminale, the final year of lycée (sixth form college/senior high school).It opened in 1962. The school was to be closed in June 1997, when the AEFE stopped operating the school due to its small size; at the time it had 70 students in maternelle and ecole primaire. The French Embassy recruited MLF to take over operations, and the school remained open. It had about 250 students in September 1998, when its secondary division opened. The student enrollment increased to 340 and then 617 in September 2000 and September 2015, respectively.

Hicham Aboucherouane

Hicham Aboucherouane (Arabic: هشام بوشروان‎) (born 2 April 1981 in Aounat, El Jadida Province) is a Moroccan footballer.

He began his career 1997 by Najm El Aounat, 1999 was transferred to Raja Casablanca. He was loaned out from Raja Casablanca in July 2005 to June 2006 by OSC Lille.

In January 2007 he moved from Raja Casablanca to Espérance Sportive de Tunis and he transferred in July 2008 to Al-Ittihad.

Lbir Jdid

Lbir Jdid is a town and municipality in El Jadida Province of the Casablanca-Settat region of Morocco. At the time of the 2004 census, the commune had a total population of 15267 people living in 3091 households.

Moroccan Throne Cup

The Morocco Throne Cup, the Moroccan Cup is a football cup competition open to both professional and amateur clubs in Morocco.

Mostapha Sahel

Mostapha Sahel (5 May 1946 in Ouled Frej, El Jadida – 7 October 2012 in Rabat) was the minister of the interior of Morocco. He holds a degree in public law. He used to be minister of fishing. His successor was Chakib Benmoussa. After leaving the government he held the position of advisor to King Mohamed VI until his death.

Mostapha Sahel was also the CEO of the Tourism and Real estate firm SOMED.

Oulad Aissa, El Jadida

Oulad Aissa is a small town and rural commune in El Jadida Province of the Casablanca-Settat region of Morocco. At the time of the 2004 census, the commune had a total population of 21779 people living in 3430 households.

Sidi Abed, El Jadida

Sidi Abed is a small town and rural commune in El Jadida Province of the Casablanca-Settat region of Morocco. At the time of the 2004 census, the commune had a total population of 20,854 people living in 2627 households.

Sidi Ali Ben Hamdouche

Sidi Ali Ben Hamdouche is a small town and rural commune in El Jadida Province of the Casablanca-Settat region of Morocco. At the time of the 2004 census, the commune had a total population of 28,685 people living in 5158 households.

Stade El Abdi

Stade Ben Ahmed El-Abdi is a multi-use stadium in El Jadida, Morocco. It is currently used mostly for football matches and hosts the home games of Difaa El Jadida. The stadium holds 15,000 people.

Youssef Kaddioui

Youssef Kaddioui Idrissi (born 28 September 1984 in El Jadida) is a Moroccan international footballer who plays as a winger for RCA Zemamra on loan from FAR Rabat.

Climate data for El Jadida
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 16.8
Average low °C (°F) 7.6
Average precipitation mm (inches) 49
Source: climate-data.org
Rural communes

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