El Jadida, also known as Mazagan, is a city located on Morocco's Atlantic coast, approximately 100 kilometers southwest of Casablanca. During the 16th century, El Jadida was a Portuguese colony known as Mazagan. The Portuguese built a fortress there in 1514, which served as an important trading post and stronghold. The city remained under Portuguese control for nearly two centuries until it was captured by the Moroccans in 1769.
The Portuguese influence can still be seen in El Jadida's architecture, particularly in the well-preserved Cité Portugaise (Portuguese City) district. This area features narrow streets, old churches, and the impressive Cistern of El Jadida, a vast underground water reservoir built by the Portuguese to provide water for the city during sieges.
In 2004, the Cité Portugaise and the Cistern of El Jadida were designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, recognizing their historical significance and architectural value.
Today, El Jadida is a bustling coastal city with a population of around 200,000 people. It is known for its beautiful beaches, including Sidi Bouzid and Haouzia, which attract tourists and locals alike. The city also has a thriving fishing industry and a lively medina (old town) where visitors can explore traditional markets and experience the local culture.
Portuguese Quarter, Rue Hachmi Bahbah, El Jadida, Morocco