El Jadida, Morocco’s hidden gem
Visit El Jadida, Morocco’s hidden gem, and discover the many places of interest on offer for an exceptional holiday.
Situated on Morocco’s Atlantic coast, El Jadida is a town approximately one hour and twenty minutes away from Casablanca and three hours from Marrakech. It is the capital of the province of El Jadida.
The city’s exceptional history has forged its appearance and architecture over the centuries, making it a must-see destination in Morocco today.
Would you like to travel to Morocco? Discover the city of El Jadida and discover a unique culture and protected heritage.
El Jadida, history and heritage:
The walled city of El Jadida is one of a kind. This Moroccan coastal town to the southwest of Casablanca has a rich history that has shaped its entire appearance.
In fact, in the early 16th century, in 1514, the Portuguese built a fortress at Mazagan (El Jadida’s former name), and later a fortified town capable of accommodating several thousand inhabitants of Portuguese origin. Built in the Manueline style typical of Portugal, the fortress is an imposing part of the local landscape.
Portuguese occupation lasted until 1769, when the town was taken by Sidi Mohammed ben Abdallah, an Alawite sultan of the Cherifian Empire in Morocco. On their departure, the Portuguese caused the bastions to explode, resulting not only in the deaths of many Moroccans, but also in the destruction of numerous buildings, earning the Portuguese city the name El-Mehdoûma, “The Ruined” in Arabic.
During its restoration, initiated by Sultan Moulay Abd ar-Rahman, the city was renamed El Jadida, “the New” in Arabic. This restoration phase enabled the city to regain its lustre and Maghrebian influences with the construction of mosques, which now stand alongside Portuguese buildings such as the fortress and the Church of the Assumption.
Since 2004, the Portuguese city of El Jadida has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site, attracting thousands of visitors every year to discover the city’s unique blend of styles and exceptional culture.
Top 5 places of cultural interest:
The Portuguese city of El Jadida :
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Portuguese city of El Jadida is probably the city’s must-see site. A blend of European and Moroccan architectural styles, it overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and dominates the landscape. You won’t want to miss its unique atmosphere.
The Portuguese cistern:
This is a large underground room that was part of the fortified castle. This water reservoir was probably used as a weapons room during its history. Today, the cistern’s incredible play of natural light is astonishing. Indeed, the cistern’s central span allows daylight to pass through, producing a play of reflections on the water in the cistern. The water mirror impresses visitors and lends an almost religious aspect to the site.
El Jadida beach:
A trip to the Moroccan coast is an opportunity to enjoy the beach at El Jadida. Long stretches of fine sand, clear waters and waves: the perfect recipe for the ultimate moment of relaxation.
Hassan II Park:
With its 45,000 square meters, the Parc Hassan II (formerly known as Parc Spiny) is home to a wealth of attractive flora and fauna. Left to its own devices for many years, the park has been given a facelift and now offers a little peace and quiet in the heart of the city.
Port of Mazagan :
El Jadida’s port activity has always played a key role in the city’s overall economy. El Jadida’s downtown harbor is reserved for fishing and pleasure boats. Water sports are also available for pure entertainment.
Discover El Jadida’s unique gastronomy:
El Jadida’s strong European heritage is reflected in its gastronomy. Typical Portuguese products include fish, which goes surprisingly well in tagines.
But the region also incorporates Jewish influences, with the famous Skhina, often dubbed “Morocco’s most famous Jewish dish”. There are also Berber influences.
However, the great Moroccan classics will be on the menu during your visit to El Jadida. Couscous, tajines, pastilla and other makrouts will certainly be on the menu, accompanied of course by mint tea served in the purest Moroccan tradition.
Don’t wait any longer to book your stay in El Jadida and discover an exceptional culture, the result of a blend of influences and traditions.