In 1513 Azemmour's governor Moulay Zayam refused to pay the tribute and mustered a powerful, well-equipped army. Manuel responded to this challenge by sending a massive fleet of 500 ships and 15 thousand soldiers (Bergreen, 19). James, Duke of Braganza led this army and on 1 September he conquered the city with no resistance from its inhabitants. Ferdinand Magellan, the man famed for leading the first-ever circumnavigation of the earth, was among the Portuguese soldiers there; he lost his horse in skirmishes outside the city. Portuguese control of the city lasted only for a short period; it was abandoned by João III of Portugal in 1541 due to his court's economic difficulties.
The patron saint of Azemmour is Abu Shuayb. His mausoleum was built on the order of Mohammed ben Abdallah. Each year a moussem is celebrated to honour him.
Estevanico, also known as Esteban the Moor, who was enslaved and traveled with a Spanish expedition to North America in 15xx. He is the first African to travel with explorers in North America and was one of four men out of several hundred to survive shipwrecks on the Florida and Texas coasts, Native American slavery and attacks, and other setbacks over a six-year period before he and his party reached safety in a Spanish colonial town.