Explore the Portuguese City of Mazagan on the Atlantic Coast
The Portuguese city of Mazagan was built in the early 16th century on the Atlantic coast and was used as a defense settlement. Later in 1769 the settlement was taken over by the Moroccans. Today, the city of Mazagan serves as a good example of how well the Moroccan and European cultural influences can mix. The interchange of influences can be seen in the technology, architecture and the town planning found in the Portuguese city of Mazagan.
Today the Portuguese fortifications, or military constructions, of Mazagan are part of El Jadida, a Moroccan city. The fortifications of Mazagan, which include the original ramparts, bastions and cistern, are an excellent example of the military design used in the Renaissance era. You can also see the surviving remains of the Church of the Assumption. This building was constructed using a late Gothic architectural style called Manueline.
The Portuguese city of Mazagon lies southwest of Casablanca and it was one of the first Portuguese settlements to be developed by explorers traveling on their way to India. The city of Mazagon has survived for over five hundred years as a settlement that has been influenced by both European and Moroccan cultures. This has led to the Portuguese city of Mazagan being recognized internationally and this in turn has has boosted the tourism industry of the area.
Recently, UNESCO (UN educational, scientific and cultural agency) has included the Portuguese city of Mazagan on its list of World Heritage Sites because of its rich history. This official list is well-known all over the world and includes over six hundred places, including manmade landscapes, natural sanctuaries, archaeological areas, individual monuments and urban centers. There are now nine World Heritage sites in Morocco and this makes it the country with the most sites on the UNESCO list.
The Portuguese city of Mazagan is located on a piece of the Moroccan coastline that is not used often by tourists coming into the country and so is largely unknown. Having become a World Heritage Site has helped highlight Mazagan’s potential. The Portuguese city of Mazagan’s Portuguese architecture, stunning beaches, shallow lanes and the vibrant Moroccan flavors are attracting more and more visitors to the city. There are relatively few Portuguese people inhabiting Mazagan today, but there are a number of Jewish and European people living in the city.
Last updated: January 22, 2020