Marrakech: An overview - Part 27

Travel Guide > Travelling

Marrakech: An overview - Part 27

Visiting the port of Essaouira - continued

As in Marrakech, Essaouira’s medina is a labyrinth of narrow streets. It is, however, not as hard to navigate, bisected as it is by one long, straight street. This street begins at the port and runs all the way up to the north gate, the Bab Doukkala. However over the distance it changes name twice along the way.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, a Jewish community gained prominence in Essaouira, becoming the most important economic group. They have all long since left and the town’s Jewish quarter is in a dilapidated state. You can reach the mellah by following the alleys just inside the ramparts beyond Skala de la Ville. You can still identify the former Jewish residences because they are fronted by balconies. In some cases, the Hebrew inscriptions on their lintels are also visible.

At the heart of the medina is a lively market, the Souk Jdid. It is divided into four quarters by the intersection of the two main thoroughfares. There is a daily souk for fish, spice and grains and a cloistered square, known as the Joutia, where second hand items are auctioned.

Between the medina walls and the beach, a small park like square goes by the name of Place Orson Welles, in honour of the great lmmaker who came to Essaouira in 1949 to shoot his version of Othello. Since then, Essaouira and the surrounding area have been used as movie locations in many international ? lm projects. So of the most famous ones being Oliver Stone’s, Alexander the Great and Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven.

Essaouira’s beach, to the south of the medina, is one of the best in Morocco. However, the strong winds that hit this part of the Atlantic coast frequently make it a little too cold, even behind a wind break. However none of this this bothers the windsurfers who seem to be happy most of the time.

Over the last 25 years a generation of painters and sculptors have made Essaouira an important centre of artistic centre. Galerie Damgaard is where many of these artists were brought to public attention by Dane Frederic Damgaard. He used to run this influential gallery, but has now retired.

Musée des Arts et Traditions Populaires is a small ethnographic museum that occupies a 19th-century house that was formerly the town hall. It contains displays of ancient crafts, weapons and jewellery. Also on display here are some of the instruments and accessories that were used by religious brotherhoods. They also have some stunning examples of Berber and Jewish costumes.

Continued in part 28

We aim to provide accurate and useful information, but if you feel anything provided here is not accurate or out of date, please email us with the address of the page concerned and any comments so we can amend as necessary.

Page added on: 27 May 2018
Viewed 484 times since 27 May 2018.

The following photos have been submitted by our villa owners for this article.

Marrakech Overview 270

Marrakech Overview 269

Marrakech Overview 268

Marrakech Overview 267

Marrakech Overview 266

Marrakech Overview 265

Marrakech Overview 264

Marrakech Overview 263

Marrakech Overview 262

Marrakech Overview 261

Villa Owners: Upload A Photo To This Article

To upload a photo for consideration, click here. Please only submit photos relevant to this article.

Other Articles Viewed

The following articles were also viewed by people who looked at this one:

Bookmark This Article

Post this story to FacebookFacebook
Tweet this storyTwitter
Post this story to DeliciousDelicious
Post this story to DiggDigg
Post this story to StumbleUponStumbleUpon
Post this story to redditreddit


Contact us

Offices in Shropshire, UK and Kissimmee, USA.

Click here to email us

0800 612 6734

About us

We have over 15 years of experience in the car rental industry, with our parent company (Orlando Villas Ltd) being one of the largest car rental suppliers specializing in Florida and other US Car Hire via

We pride ourselves on our prices and customer service and aim to give the customer as much information as possible so they can find the right car rental for them.