The present city of Essaouira was founded by the Alawite sultan Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah in 1765. His company was part of a desire to have a port that concentrates most of the revenue from trade with Europe. For this purpose he uses the services of the French engineer from Avignon Théodore Cornut. The city whose plans he designed included three main neighborhoods to accommodate Muslims, Jews and Christians respectively. Since its founding in the 18th century and until the beginning of the 20th century, Essaouira has played a fundamental role as an international trading port between Morocco and the rest of the world. Several consulates as well as merchants from different countries have established themselves there. Like all the historical centers of Morocco, Essaouira contains important historical monuments of great architectural value
The Wall of Essaouira
The wall of the city of Essaouira marries two defensive systems. The first develops on the side of the mainland and bears the features of Moroccan military architecture. It is a line of ramparts flanked by towers barlongues and pierced with monumental doors of Alawite type. The second, protects the city from the ocean side, is frankly European type and carries in him the characteristics of the architecture of Vauban. is the main opening of the port on the medina.
The Sqala of the medina
It is located northwest of the medina and is the main fortification of the city, facing the ocean. It is a fortress consisting of a huge rectangular platform with two levels solidly built. The ground floor houses a series of casemates used as a depot of military equipment. The floor, which is accessed by a ramp, consists of a circular surveillance tower.
Bastion of Bab Marrakech
It is the most important defensive building on the land side. It is in the form of a circular battery that covers an angle of 270 ° which can dominate almost all access East of the medina. With a diameter of 35 m, it occupies an area of approximately 980m2. The interior of the tower served as a powder magazine and ammunition warehouse.
The Doors of Essaouira
The doors of Essaouira are of two types. The doors of Moroccan style characterized by their salient character in relation to the curtain and their external and internal opening in semicircular arches it is about the doors of Bab Doukkala, Bab Marrakech and Bab Sbaa. The second type of doors and the European one. The representative model is the port gate. It is a monumental work surmounted by a triangular pediment of Greek style supported by fluted columns. The interior of this pediment is furnished by the inscription engraved foundation in cursive. The door gives access to a passage surmounted by a dome shaped truncated pyramid, square base and covered with wood paneling.
Ben Youssef Mosque
Located in the south-eastern part of the medina, the Ben Youssef mosque is one of the largest and most imposing buildings in the city, a large part of its facade leans on the ramparts bordering the Mechouar.