El Jadida is located just south of Casablanca on the Atlantic coast of Morocco. In the early 1500s the Portuguese took control of the town and built a fortified medina called Mazagan called “Cite Portugaise” by the locals. Mazagan is noted by UNESCO as an “outstanding example of the interchange of influences between European and Moroccan cultures” and as an “early example of the realization of the Renaissance ideals integrated with Portuguese construction technology”. The ramparts are some of the most interesting in Morocco and are great fun for the local kids to jump off of. There are several other interesting sites within the walled medina including the five sided lighthouse (now the minaret of the grand mosque), the Church of the Assumption, the communal bakery and the impressive Portuguese Cistern which was used in George Orwell’s film Othello.
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