El Jadida (Berber: ⵎⴰⵣⵖⴰⵏ Mazaghan, Arabic: الجديدة Al-Jadida) is a port city on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, in the province of El Jadida. It has a population of 144,440 (2004 census). From the sea, El Jadida's old city; has a very "un-Moorish" appearance; it has massive Portuguese walls of hewn stone.
El Jadida, previously known as Mazagan (Portuguese: Mazagão), was seized in 1502 by the Portuguese, and they controlled this city until 1769, when they abandoned Mazagão. Its inhabitants were evacuated to the Portuguese colony of Brazil, where they founded new settlement Nova Mazagão (now in Amapá). El Jadida was then taken over by Sultan Mohammed ben Abdallah.
El Jadida fortified town.
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, the most important buildings from the Portuguese period are the cistern, and the Manueline Church of the Assumption.
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 presence of nearby ports and factories is responsible for the pollution of El Jadida's beaches.
The modern city of Essaouira (containing some of the earliest recorded Phoenician settlement history of Morocco: the archaeological ruins of Mogador) connects to El Jadida from the south via the R301 road.
Landmarks of El Jadida/Mazagan 
- The Canons and the Fortress
- The Municipal Theater of El Jadida
- The Old Port
- The Portuguese Cistern
Portuguese Cistern 
Built in 1514, this former warehouse (possibly an armory) was converted into a cistern in the 16th 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 exciting 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. 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.
Town twinning 
External links 
Coordinates: 33°14′N 8°30′W / 33.233°N 8.500°W