El Jadida, in Morocco, is the capital of the province of the same name, in the region of Doukkala-Abda, and means ‘the new’. But it has nothing to do, since this city was the old Magazan, one of the most […]
El Jadida, in Morocco, is the capital of the province of the same name, in the region of Doukkala-Abda, and means ‘the new’. But it has nothing to do, since this city was the old Magazan, one of the most beautiful cities on the entire Atlantic coast of Morocco. It currently has a population of about 130,000.
Located about 95 km south of Casablanca, the Jadida is served by the N1 and a toll highway.
It is one of the most popular summer holiday destinations for residents of Marrakech and one of the most popular resorts in the country. Rubisis, cited by ancient authors, probably occupied the situation in which the Portuguese seafarers established what would have been the most important commercial center on the African Atlantic coast: Mazagan.
The Portuguese had this city for 250 years. After the capture of the nearby town of Azemmour in 1514, the Portuguese decided to build here a fortress called Mazagan. This quickly became the center of maritime traffic in the Kingdom of Portugal, as well as the fortified medina surrounded by a moat that isolated the citadel, making it impenetrable.
After its occupation by the Alawite sultan Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah, the city was renamed El Brija El Jadida (‘the New Fortress’) and on the walls a new city began to grow.
It is one of the most fascinating cities on the Moroccan coast, so many domestic and international tourists organize trips to El Jadida as part of their holiday. The city has a beautiful coastal landscape and a well-preserved Portuguese citadel, one of the most interesting points of the city. Protected by UNESCO and surrounded by crenellated walls with walls, it is accessed through the Rue de Carreira.
This citadel served as a refuge for Jews during the 14th century. Its walls were equipped with five bastions, four of which were rebuilt in the 18th century. From the top of the bastion of San Sebastian, the last of them, you can enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of the city of El Yadida, the Puerta del Mar, the Jewish cemetery and the elegant chapel of the Inquisition.
From the Bastion of the Angel there are also beautiful views of the sea gate, the port, the ocean and the pier. As a curiosity, it is said that in 1769 the Portuguese fled from this door.
Inside the complex we find Portuguese houses with balconies and iron pillars. We also find the Church of the Assumption, near the Great Mosque of El Jadida, whose minaret was the old lighthouse of the city and is the only pentagonal minaret in the Arab world.
The mosque was built on the foundations of an old watchtower. The citadel still retains its charm and its original, typically medieval structure. And it hides, in its entrails, one of the masterpieces of the architecture of the sixteenth century: ‘the Portuguese Cistern’, a jewel found in Mohamed el-Hachmi Bah bah.
Its structure was first used as a warehouse and then transformed into an underground well of the early 16th century, supported by rows of pillars supporting a vaulted ceiling. It is especially beautiful when the sun’s rays penetrate through the skylight inside, The cistern of El Jadida was forgotten for more than 150 years until it was discovered by chance in 1916. This beautiful and surprising place was used by the famous Orson Welles to establish some scenes from his film “Othello”.
The beach is good quality, clean and much less crowded than on the beach in Agadir.
As we have explained, one of the most interesting places to see in El Jadida is its wall with five bastions, four of which were rebuilt. It is suitable for walking high. The Bastion of the Angel and the Holy Spirit are the ones that give us the best view of the citadel and the port area.
It is also worth visiting Mohammed-Al-Hachmi-Bahbahbah, which runs parallel to the walls of the Portuguese citadel, and the bastions of San Sebastian and San Antonio, with a beautiful view of the sea.
On the Rue de Carreira, near the walls, is the Puerta del Mar, which is where the goods of the ships entered the city. Nearby is the old Spanish church of Sant’Antonio da Padova.
In the Puerta del Mar there are stairs that give access to several towers, the Bastion of the Angel and the Bastion of San Sebastian.
The most convenient communication between El Jadida and Morocco is the Gare Ferrovière train, which is located south of the city, with several daily rotations to Casablanca. You can also take a Grand Taxi that will take you to Safi or Oualidida in the south from the bus station. Or you can take a CTM bus to Oualidia, Safi, Marrakech, Casablanca or Rabat.
You can eat cheap near the beach in the center. There are all kinds of bars and cafes where you can enjoy Moroccan dishes, fast food or some fish dishes.
Restaurant Le Privé: Restaurant bar with a modern atmosphere and an extensive menu where we find a variety of tapas and French and Moroccan cuisine. They serve alcohol and have wine cards. It’s a little expensive for Morocco.
Ali Baba: Restaurant El Yadida with a cozy and intimate atmosphere, with a wide selection of fresh fish, seafood and some delicious salads including the salad “Ali Baba”.
La Portugaise: restaurant located at the entrance of the medina, with a very cozy and clean atmosphere. They have a menu with Moroccan cuisine and some international cuisine. They are great value for money, with good care.
El Jadida is a coastal city in Morocco, located about 100 km southwest of Casablanca. There are several ways to get to El Jadida, depending on your starting point:
By Car: If you have a car, the easiest way to get to El Jadida is to drive. You can take the A5 highway from Casablanca, which takes about 1 hour to reach El Jadida. The roads are well-maintained, and the route is quite scenic.
By Train: There is a train station in El Jadida, and you can take a train from Casablanca to El Jadida. The journey takes about 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on the type of train you choose. There are several trains per day, and you can check the schedule on the ONCF website.
By Bus: There are also regular buses that run between Casablanca and El Jadida. You can take a CTM or Supratours bus from the Casablanca bus station to El Jadida. The journey takes about 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on traffic.
By Taxi: You can also take a taxi from Casablanca to El Jadida. There are two types of taxis in Morocco: petit taxis (small taxis) and grand taxis (big taxis). Petit taxis are metered and are suitable for short trips around the city, while grand taxis are shared taxis that operate on specific routes. You can negotiate the fare with the driver before you start the journey.
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