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  • Writer's pictureSaid Ait Bajja

Excursion to El Jadida

El Jadida is a beautiful Atlantic coast city in Morocco. It is 90 kilometers south of Casablanca. The original name of the city in the Berber language was: Mazighen, which means "The Berbers".

El Jadida, previously known as Mazagan (Portuguese: Mazagao), was seized in 1502 by the Portuguese. In 1769, it came under Moroccan rule and the city was renamed El Jadida, meaning “new.”

As a former Portuguese colony, it is an outstanding example of the interchange of influences between European and Moroccan cultures. El Jadida's old city sea walls are one of the Seven Wonders of Portuguese Origin in the World. The Portuguese Fortified City of Mazagan was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004.

According to UNESCO, the most important buildings from the Portuguese period are the cistern and the Manueline Church of the Assumption. The ancient cistern was built by the Portuguese inside the Fortress of Mazagan around 1514. It has a thin layer of water covering the floor with reflections from the light of the roof. Its chamber measures 34 meters by 34 meters and was constructed with five rows of five stone pillars.

In addition to its colonial flavor, El Jadida has a beautiful and long coast line that attracts over 10 million visitors from around the world each year. It offers a more relaxed seaside experience compared to the beaches in the big cities.

El Jadida is also a great place to enjoy fresh seafood and fish. The easiest way to try them is to go to the fish market, select your favorite seafood and cook them at restaurants. There are various fresh seafood to satisfy your taste buds: oysters, crab, lobster, sea urchin, eel, shrimp, and fish.

Close to the city is a five-star resort complex of Mazagan, which attracts some middle-class Moroccans as well as many international visitors from the Arabian Peninsula as well as from Europe and beyond. Mazagan complex has a golf course designed by Gary Player, casino, nightclub and restaurants. Between Mazagan complex and El Jadida is the Pullman Hotel, attached to which is Royal Golf El Jadida, another 18-hole course.

There are plenty of things to do and to explore at El Jadida. If you have time, it will be a great choice for a day-trip or a few-day short stay.

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