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El Jadida
الجديدة / مازيغن
Forteresse Jadida 01.JPG
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El Jadida is located in Morocco
El Jadida
El Jadida
Location in Morocco
El Jadida is located in Africa
El Jadida
El Jadida
El Jadida (Africa)
Coordinates: 33°14′N 8°30′W / 33.233°N 8.500°W / 33.233; -8.500
ProvinceEl Jadida
 • Total220 181
 • Rank15th in Morocco
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
Official namePortuguese City of Mazagan (El Jadida)
Criteriaii, iv
Designated2004 (28th session)
Reference no.1058
RegionArab States

El Jadida (Arabic: الجديدة, romanizedal-Jadīda, [ald͡ʒadiːda]; originally known in Berber as Maziɣen or Mazighen; known in Portuguese as Mazagão) is a major port city on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, located 96 km south of the city of Casablanca, in the province of El Jadida and the region of Casablanca-Settat.[5][6] It has a population of 170,956 as of 2022.[7]

The fortified city, built by the Portuguese at the beginning of the 16th century and named Mazagan (Mazagão in Portuguese), was taken by the Moroccans in 1769.

El Jadida's old city sea walls are one of the Seven Wonders of Portuguese Origin in the World.[8] The Portuguese Fortified City of Mazagan was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004, on the basis of its status as an "outstanding example of the interchange of influences between European and Moroccan cultures" and as an "early example of the realisation of the Renaissance ideals integrated with Portuguese construction technology". According to UNESCO,[9] the most important buildings from the Portuguese period are the cistern, and the Manueline Church of the Assumption.

The city, and particularly its neighbouring town of Sidi Bouzid, becomes extremely busy in the summer season with an influx of mainly Moroccan holiday-makers. Nearby is the five-star resort complex of Mazagan, which attracts some middle-class and upper-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. The presence of nearby ports and factories is responsible for the pollution of El Jadida's beaches.

The city is expanding as of 2014, partly as a result of increased activity at the nearby Jorf Lasfar port and its industrial zone.


The original name of the city in the Berber language was: Maziɣen / Mazighen, which means "The Berbers".

El Jadida's other names and nicknames in other languages were: Cap Soleis,[10] Portus Rutilis,[11] Rusibis,[11][12][13] Mazighen (Arabic: مازيغن),[14][15][16][17] al-Breyja (Arabic: البريجة),[11] Mazagão,[10][11] al-Mahdouma (Arabic: المهدومة)[10] and Mazagan.[10][11]


Map of Mazagan created by the US government in 1942.
Map of Mazagan created by the US government in 1942.

El Jadida was first known as al-Breyja when it was seized by the Portuguese in 1502. Then it became known in the Portuguese language as Mazagão. The Portuguese built a citadel in 1514, and a larger fortification in 1541.[18] The Kingdom of Portugal would continue to control the city until 1769, when they abandoned Mazagão, their last territory in Morocco. Upon their forced departure, the Portuguese destroyed the Governor's Bastion. Most of the Portuguese inhabitants were sent to the colony of Brazil, where they founded a new settlement called Nova Mazagão (the present Mazagão in the state of Amapá).[19] The city was then taken over by Sultan Mohammed ben Abdallah in 1769 and remained largely uninhabited, having been dubbed al-Mahdouma ('The Ruined'). Eventually, Sultan Abd al-Rahman of Morocco ordered that a mosque be built, and the destroyed portions of the city were rebuilt during his reign in the early nineteenth-century. The reinvigorated city was renamed al-Jadida, meaning 'The New'.[20]


Church of Our Lady of Assumption in El Jadida.

Portuguese cistern

Manueline cistern of the El Jadida fortress.
Manueline cistern of the El Jadida fortress.

Expanded since 1514, this former warehouse (possibly an armory) was converted into a cistern in the sixteenth century. The underground chamber, measuring 34 meters by 34 meters, was constructed with five rows of five stone pillars. The cistern is famous especially for the thin layer of water that covers the floor, and which creates fine and ever-changing reflections from the little light there is and the spartan shapes of the columns and the roof. Its visual qualities are such that several movies have been filmed within the cavernous space, of which Orson Welles' Othello is the best known internationally.[21][22]

Fortress of Mazagan

The design of the Fortress of Mazagan is a response to the development of modern artillery in the Renaissance.[23] The star form of the fortress measures c 250m by 300m.[24] The slightly inclined, massive walls are c 8m high on average, with a thickness of 10m, enclosing a patrolling peripheral walkway 2m wide. At the present time the fortification has four bastions: the Angel Bastion in the east, St Sebastian in the north, St Antoine in the west, and the Holy Ghost Bastion in the south. The fifth, the Governor's Bastion at the main entrance, is in ruins, having been destroyed by the Portuguese in 1769. Numerous colonial-era Portuguese cannons are still positioned on top of the bastions.[25]

The fort had three gates: the Seagate, forming a small port with the north-east rampart, the Bull Gate in the north-west rampart, and the main entrance with a double arch in the centre of the south rampart, originally connected to land via a drawbridge. A ditch, c 20m wide and 3m deep, formerly filled with seawater, surrounded the fort. During the time of the French Protectorate the ditch was filled in with earth and a new entrance gate was opened leading to the main street, the Rua da Carreira, and to the Seagate. Along this street are situated the best preserved historic buildings, including the Catholic Church of the Assumption and the cistern.


Market, El Jadida, 2012
Market, El Jadida, 2012

El Jadida has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csa). In winter there is more rainfall than in summer. The average annual temperature in El Jadida is 17.4 °C (63.3 °F). About 372 mm (14.65 in) of precipitation falls annually.[26]

Climate data for El Jadida
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 16.8
Average low °C (°F) 7.6
Average precipitation mm (inches) 49


The city houses many post-secondary academic institutions:

Chouaib Doukkali University,[27][28] including the following institutions:

Office of Vocational Training and Promotion of Labor (OFPPT),[35] including the following institutions:

(Outside El Jadida)



The main football club of the city is Difaâ Hassani El Jadidi, currently playing in the Botola Pro 1.

Nearby cities

Near El Jadida, are located the city of Azemmour in the northeast and the town of Sidi Bouzid in the southwest. Within a perimeter of around 120 km or less, are located Casablanca, Berrechid, Settat, Sidi Bennour, Oualidia, Youssoufia, Safi.

Notable people

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (August 2019)

Twin towns – sister cities

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Morocco

El Jadida is twinned with:

See also


  1. ^ "Résultat du RGPH 2014 Casablanca-Settat par région, préfecture, municipalité et commune" (in Arabic and French). Royaume du Maroc - Haut-Comissariat au Plan. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  2. ^ "Indicateurs RGPH2014 - Démographie - Commune : El Jadida" (in French). Royaume du Maroc - Haut-Comissariat au Plan. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  3. ^ "عدد السكان القانونيين بالمملكة" (PDF). Official Gazette المملكة المغربية - الجريدة الرسمية - النشرة العامة. 6354 (year 104): 4025–4075. 23 April 2015. ISSN 0851-1195.
  4. ^ "POPULATION LÉGALE DES RÉGIONS, PROVINCES, PRÉFECTURES, MUNICIPALITÉS, ARRONDISSEMENTS ET COMMUNES DU ROYAUME D'APRÈS LES RÉSULTATS DU RGPH 2014" (in Arabic and French). High Commission for Planning, Morocco. 8 April 2015. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  5. ^ "الجهات و تسمياتها و مراكزها و العمالات و الأقاليم المكونة لها" (PDF). Official Gazette المملكة المغربية - الجريدة الرسمية - النشرة العامة. 6340 (year 104): 1461–1533. 15 March 2015. ISSN 0851-1195.
  6. ^ "المغرب يتبنى تقسيما ترابيا جديدا" (in Arabic and French). المديرية العامة للجماعات المحلية. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  7. ^ "Population of El Jadida" (in Arabic and French). population-hub. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  8. ^ Paula Hardy; Heidi Edsall; Mara Vorhees (2005). Morocco. Lonely Planet. ISBN 1-74059-678-1. El Jadida.
  9. ^ "Portuguese City of Mazagan (El Jadida) - UNESCO World Heritage Centre". Retrieved 2013-02-10.
  10. ^ a b c d "Aperçu historique d'El Jadida" (in French). 27 November 2008. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
  11. ^ a b c d e Mustapha Jmahri. "El Jadida" (in French). Dar Del Mare. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
  12. ^ "Mazagan hier, El Jadida aujourd'hui" (in French). Golf El Jadida. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
  13. ^ Bill Thayer (31 January 2010). "Location of Mauritania Tingitana (from the First Map of Libya)". Bill Thayer. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
  14. ^ (1154) Hamoudi Husseini Cherif Al-Idrisi, Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Abd-Allah ibn Idriss; Tabula Rogeriana. Tabula Rogeriana نزهة المشتاق في اختراق الآفاق. مكتبة الثقافة الدينية. p. 550.
  15. ^ Qadi Ayyadh, Ibn Mussa ibn Ayyadh Sabti; Qadi Abu Abd-Allah, Muhammad Muhammad Ibn Sharifa (1997). مذاهب الحكام في نوازل الأحكام (PDF) (2nd ed.). دار الغرب الإسلامي. p. 346.
  16. ^ (Before 1274) Ibn Sa'id al-Maghribi, Abu al-Ḥassan Ali ibn Mussa; (1958) Ginés, Juan Vernet (1958). بسط الأرض في الطول والعرض. Moulay Hassan Institute - Tetuan. p. 141.
  17. ^ مبارك بلقاسم (26 June 2018). "مازيغن هو الاسم الأصلي لمدينة الجديدة المغربية Maziɣen" (in Arabic). Hespress. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
  18. ^ "Portuguese City of Mazagan (El Jadida) - World Heritage Site - Pictures, info and travel reports". Retrieved 2017-02-13.
  19. ^ Jean Duvignaud, Laurent Vidal (2005). Mazagão, la ville qui traversa l'Atlantique : du Maroc à l'Amazonie, 1769-1783. Paris: Aubier. p. 314. ISBN 2-70072360-0.
  20. ^ "Portuguese City of Mazagan (El Jadida) - UNESCO World Heritage Centre". Retrieved 2013-06-29.
  21. ^ "Portuguese City of Mazagan (El Jadida)". Unesco. Retrieved May 25, 2020.
  22. ^ "Portuguese Cistern of El Jadida". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved May 25, 2020.
  23. ^ "Portuguese City of Mazagan (El Jadida) - UNESCO Advisory Body Evaluation" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-02-10.
  24. ^ "DGPC | Cidade Portuguesa de Mazagão (El Jadida)". Retrieved 2020-12-07.
  25. ^ "Fortress of Mazagan". Starforts. Retrieved May 25, 2020.
  26. ^ "Climate El Jadida ⵍⵊⴰⴷⵉⴷⴰ الجديدة". Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  27. ^ "Chouaïb Doukkali University" (in French). Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  28. ^ "Chouaib Doukkali University" (in Arabic, French, and English). Chouaib Doukkali University. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  29. ^ "Faculty of Science" (in French). Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  30. ^ "Faculty of Letters and Humanities" (in Arabic). Faculty of Letters and Humanities. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  31. ^ "Faculty of Juridical, Economic and Social Sciences" (in French). Faculty of Juridical, Economic and Social Sciences. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  32. ^ "National School of Applied Sciences" (in French). National School of Applied Sciences. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  33. ^ "National School of Business and Management" (in French). National School of Business and Management. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  34. ^ "Superior School of Technology - Sidi Bennour" (in French). Superior School of Technology - Sidi Bennour. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  35. ^ "Office of Vocational Training and Promotion of Labor" (in Arabic, French, and English). Office of Vocational Training and Promotion of Labor. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  36. ^ "Professional Qualification Center" (in Arabic, French, and English). Office of Vocational Training and Promotion of Labor. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  37. ^ "Specialized Institute of Applied Technology - Al Massira" (in Arabic, French, and English). Office of Vocational Training and Promotion of Labor. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  38. ^ "Specialized Institute of Applied Technology - City of the Air" (in Arabic, French, and English). Office of Vocational Training and Promotion of Labor. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  39. ^ a b "Specialized Institute of Hotel and Tourism Technology - El Haouzia" (in French). Office of Vocational Training and Promotion of Labor. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  40. ^ "Institute of Applied Technology - Azemmour" (in French). Office of Vocational Training and Promotion of Labor. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  41. ^ "Regional Centers for the Professions of Education and Training" (in French). Regional Centers for the Professions of Education and Training. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  42. ^ "Everything about El Jadida BTS" (in French). Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  43. ^ "2019/2020 CPGE public institutions" (in French). National Center of Pedagogical Innovation and Experimentation. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  44. ^ "Higher Institute of Engineering and Business" (in French). Higher Institute of Engineering and Business. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  45. ^ "Gemellaggi". (in Italian). Arenzano. Retrieved 2020-11-02.
  46. ^ "Geminações e Acordos de Cooperação". (in Portuguese). Barcelos. Retrieved 2020-11-02.
  47. ^ "Coopération Internationale". (in French). Gouvernorat de Nabeul. Retrieved 2020-11-02.
  48. ^ "Le jumelage". (in French). Sète. Retrieved 2020-11-02.
  49. ^ "Geminações e Cooperações". (in Portuguese). Sintra. Retrieved 2020-11-02.
  50. ^ "Parcs et sites d'activités". (in French). Ville de Varennes. Retrieved 2020-11-02.
  51. ^ "Jumelages". (in French). Vierzon. Retrieved 2020-11-02.
  52. ^ "Tacoma's Sister Cities". City of Tacoma. Retrieved 2020-11-02.

Coordinates: 33°14′N 8°30′W / 33.233°N 8.500°W / 33.233; -8.500