The medina of Essaouira formerly known under the name of Mogador (name coming from the Phoenician word Migdol which means "small fortress"), is an exceptional example of a fortified city of the middle of the XNUMXth century, surrounded by a Vauban style wall. Built in North Africa according to the principles of European military architecture of the time, in perfect association with the precepts of Arab-Muslim architecture and town planning, it has played, for centuries, the role of port of leading international trade linking Morocco and sub-Saharan Africa to Europe and the rest of the world. The city also offers the example of a multicultural center as evidenced by the coexistence, from its conception, of various ethnic groups such as Amazighs, Arabs, Africans, and Europeans and multiconfessional (Muslims, Christians and Jews). Inseparable from the medina, the Mogador archipelago includes a large number of cultural properties and natural suits of exceptional universal value.
Its relatively late foundation compared to the other medinas of North Africa was the work of the Alawite Sultan Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdallah (1757-1790) who wanted to make this small city of the Atlantic a royal port and a capital of Moroccan trade with the outside world. Long known as the Ports of Timbuktu, Essaouira became one of the masterpieces of Atlantic trade between Africa and Europe at the end of the XNUMXth century and during the XNUMXth century.