Essaouira morocco has many names and nicknames, there are those who call it “Mogador”, which in the Phoenician language means “little fortress”.
The coastal city of Essaouira, which is nicknamed the City of Winds or Tassourt, is one of the most important, oldest and most beautiful tourist cities in the Kingdom of Morocco, which overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, It has the uniqueness and beauty that made it a destination for tourists of the first order, who go to it in order to enjoy its beautiful scenery, and spend the most beautiful times.
The city is characterized by its unique and distinct architectural character, and the tourist activity is constantly increasing in it due to its pleasant weather that tends to be cold in winter and moderate in summer.
In addition to all this, the city contains many captivating tourist sites, As it contains many squares, walls, and great historical monuments that reflect the ancient history of this city, and in addition to this, it is filled with harmonious archaeological buildings, in addition to its ancient and great cultural heritage inherited from the generations and nations that settled that land, and before giving a description of the city, it is necessary to pass quickly And a summary of its history, which bequeathed it all that heritage and beauty, making it a destination for tourists from all over the world.
The construction of the city of Essaouira dates back to the time of the Greeks and the Phoenicians, due to the presence of an ancient port in that era. They came to it for the blue dye for which it was famous. It was known as Mogador.
The actual founding of the city dates back to the year one thousand seven hundred and sixty AD, to the era of the Alawite dynasty at the hands of the Alawi Sultan, Sidi Muhammad bin Abdullah, to be a fortified city with towers, fortresses and impregnable walls in the style common in Europe, it is very similar to the French city of Avignon, to become Mogador through its port The most important convoy centres for convoys, and where major commercial and maritime exchanges take place at the Gateway of Africa.
This city consists of three districts:
- The Kasbah: It is the old quarter.
- The old city: Consists of two parts: the first connects the port with Bab Doukkala, and the second connects Bab Marrakesh with the sea.
- The navigator: It is the Jewish quarter, and the king considered the Jews of the noble class and called them the king’s merchants.
The population of the city of Essaouira is estimated at four hundred and ninety-three thousand and sixty-nine people, working in marine fishing and trade, and in the areas of tourism services.
The most important tourist areas
- Its walls: This city, like the rest of the cities of Morocco, is rich in fortified walls that were built specifically in order to defend the city against the attacks of greedy invaders, and it was reinforced with towers and five gates.
- Bab al-Bahr: It is the most important gate of Essaouira, and the main entrance is triangular in shape and is considered a wonderful masterpiece for the beholder in terms of the style of its construction and its amazing decoration.
- Saqqalah al-Madina: It is located in front of the ocean. It contains the main fortress. It consists of two layers. The first is underground and was used as a storehouse for military combat equipment and supplies, and the second is a watchtower. It is also filled with hotels, parks and chalets.
- Bab Marrakesh Fort: It has an area of about nine hundred and eighty square meters, and it is one of the most important solid forts. In its construction, the carved stones that were used in the construction of forts and castles in Europe were used, and on its surface, there are three domes, and the Portuguese influence is noted in its architecture because the majority of its buildings were built with stones black.
- Diana’s Safari: There are four-wheel drive trips on the beach of Essaouira, where golden sands embrace blue water.
- Issa Safari: It also includes desert tours on the beach, which take place on horses, camels or mountain bikes.
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The city is famous for Gnaoua music, which is a popular form of music in the city, and it hosts the largest music festival of this genre annually.
In contrast to its quiet days, the city experiences an unparalleled spiritual clamour every year, as tens of thousands of people who are fond of this music, who come from sub-Saharan Africa, make a pilgrimage to its squares.
The accounts say that the ships that carried slaves from the depths of Africa towards Europe, and in the port of Essaouira, infiltrated Moroccan lands, before they settled there, carrying with them this ancient musical heritage.
The city houses the tomb of “Sidi Bilal” in the west of Essaouira, which is considered the supreme authority and the spiritual father of Gnawa. Inside the tomb of this saint, there is the zawiya that hosts the annual season of the Gnawa sect on the twentieth of Sha’ban, to the rhythm of that music.