Essaouira

Charming

The Atlantic heaven

Essaouira is a city in western Morocco that faces the Atlantic Coast. Essaouira literally translates to “ramparty”, as in a less intimidating rampart. Although its name might not strike awe, its walls are still standing and enclose a large part of the city.

The truly charming thing about Essaouira is that you don’t need a guide. Roaming it by yourself will infuse a feeling of ease into your soul. Getting lost within its ports will feel the exact opposite of feeling astray, instead,  you’ll get a sense of belonging.

Photographers, filmmakers, and Jimi Hendrix, all fell in love with Essaouira. It’s older parts such as the medina; where markets boast a breathtaking display of leather slippers, ostrich feathers, and colourful chaos of spices. 

Essaouira’s port, however stenchy, is the most serene place on the Atlantic Coast. Feel its culture and experience in the port life. Watch swooping seagulls waiting for fishermen to give them a couple of sardines, and feel the breezy zephyr going through your hair.

La Scala

Thèodore Cornut was responsible for designing La Scala in 1766. Sultan Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah approached the French architect and worked for three years to construct two Scalas, one for the port and one for the Kasbah.Another project, “Porte de la Marine” was built by Ahmed El Englizi. A gate that leads to the Marine, with artillery guns and other types of guns brought from Spain, Portugal, and Latin America. Most of the guns are engraved with countries of origin; Spain, Portugal, Peru, Mexico, and The Netherlands. Sevilla and Barcelona were heavily invested in the arms business during 1742 and 1782; which is where most of the guns were made.

Precious parts

Essaouira’s old town, the medina, is comprised of several entrances. Different gates lead to the medina. A Kasbah inside the medina was home to the Sultanate. The medina was modelled and inspired by European town planning. There are two different quarters: the first leads to Bab El Menzah to Bab Doukkala, and the other leads from Bab Marrakech to Bab Lebhar. 

Bab Doukkala served as a new home for the Jewish community in Essaouira. Since the old Mellah got smaller and unable to fully accommodate the Jewish community, they had to search for another sanctuary, and Bab Doukkala did just that.

Some of Essaouira’s parts are influenced by traditional Arabic planning. That means dead-ends, tight alleyways, and narrow streets. They were used as housing for the soldiers and the Sultan’s ‘Black slave Soldiers’ from Agadir. The latter was stationed in Mogador for the remainder of their service.

La Scala

Thèodore Cornut was responsible for designing La Scala in 1766. Sultan Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah approached the French architect and worked for three years to construct two Scalas, one for the port and one for the Kasbah.

Another project, “Porte de la Marine” was built by Ahmed El Englizi. A gate that leads to the Marine, with artillery guns and other types of guns brought from Spain, Portugal, and Latin America. Most of the guns are engraved with countries of origin; Spain, Portugal, Peru, Mexico, and The Netherlands. Sevilla and Barcelona were heavily invested in the arms business during 1742 and 1782; which is where most of the guns were made.

Wine

Essaouira the Mogador

Essaouira - Red, white, and breezy.

Two hours away from Marrakech, you’ll stumble upon this coastal gem. With its captivating 18th-century fortifications, Essaouira has maintained its alluring appeal, especially to surfers who delight in shredding the waves of the Atlantic. Since the early 60s, Essaouira has been a sanctuary for many renowned artists; namely Cat/Yusuf Stevens, Jimi Hendrix, and counterculture figure, psychologist Timothy Leary. Essaouira is still the peaceful seaside city it always was.

In 1994, a vineyard was created by Charles Melia. A vigneron at ‘Château de la font du loup’ since 1977 and a true wine connoisseur. Charles undertook the hardships that come with vineyards and overcame all hurdles, both minor and major.

In order to prune, dig, and clear wells of the vineyard plants, a hefty amount of time is needed. It could take as long as 4 complete years to construct a friendly environment for the vine grapes. The ‘Domaine du Val d’argan’ is dedicated to the French grape variety of Rhone Valley. It remains as the first and only Moroccan vineyard to be solely dedicated to these French varieties.

Over 100,000 bottles of wine are stored in a cellar in Essaouira. Everything is kept traditional and simple, without compromising its richness, quality, and diversity.

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AV Mohamed 5, 144 Res Au Chic De Paris
Gueliz, Marrakech
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