Mogador island

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Mogador island from Essaouira harbour.
Map of Mogador island (upper left) in Essaouira bay, by Théodore Cornut, 1767.
Mogador island, seen from Essaouira beach.
Iles Purpuraires, with Mogador island in the background seen from the Essaouira citadel.

Mogador island (French: Ile Mogador) is the main island of the Iles Purpuraires in front of Essaouira. It is about 3 kilometers long and 1.5 kilometers wide, and lies about 1.5 kilometers from the opposite beach of Essaouira.[1]

The Carthaginian navigator Hanno visited and established a trading post there in the area in the 5th century BCE, and Phoenician artifacts have been found on the island.[1]

Phoenician plate with red slip, 7th century BCE, excavated in Mogador island, Essaouira. Sidi Mohammed ben Abdallah Museum.

Around the end of the 1st century BC or early 1st century AD, Juba II established a Tyrian purple factory, processing the murex and purpura shells found in the intertidal rocks at Essaouira and the Iles Purpuraires. This dye colored the purple stripe in Imperial Roman Senatorial togas.

A Roman house with foundations, artifacts and coins were also found on the island.

In 1844, the French Navy invested to invade and the island fell to the French in France's brutal Bombardment of Mogador.[2]

It has now been designated as a natural reserve, and it cannot be visited without an official authorization.


Coordinates: 31°29′44″N 9°47′11″W / 31.49556°N 9.78639°W / 31.49556; -9.78639