Essaouira Mogador is a town at the Atlantic coast of Morocco

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In 2001 Medina of Essaouira (formerly Mogador) was added to the World Heritage List of UNESCO.

"Essaouira is an exceptional example of a late-eighteenth century fortified town, built according to the principles of contemporary European military architecture in a North African context. Since its foundation, it has been a major international trading seaport, linking Morocco and its Saharan hinterland with Europe and the rest of the world."

Read UNESCO description (External link)

Source: (


UNESCO commemorative plaque near the entry of the new medina at Bab Sbah

Locate this sight on the Map of Essaouira Town

The buildings in the medina of Essaouira is rather well preserved but the climate, sea erosion and other ecological factors as well as human, are doing harm to the remparts and buildings constructed with old technics. There are many ideas about how to preserve the valuable historical
heritage of Essaouira. International and local organisations, the City of Essaouira and also private initiatives are cooperating and work with this difficult task.

Essaouira has since 1997 a co-operation with the French costal city Saint-Malo and with other cities in the UNESCO project "Urban Development and Freshwater Resources: Small Coastal Cities"

As the previous economic base of fisheries is in crisis, urban employment is limited to tourism and handicraft production. This has had severe repercussions on the quality of life and the environment. The cultural heritage has suffered degradation and continued expansion of the city inland is threatening its fragile ecosystem and the very survival of the town.
Capacity-building efforts focus on setting priorities for action, targeted human resources development, institutional strengthening, development and adaptation of tools, encouraging partnerships, mobilization of resources, and promoting exchange between cities facing similar problems.

UN Habitat project and its partners has eveloped action plans, addressing issues such as the protection of the collapsing sea retaining wall and dilapidated city gates, a revitalisation plan for the Mellah area and development of an urban park as a buffer zone between housing estates and a dune forest.
UN Habitat Localising Agenda 21


Essaouira’s Coastal Heritage, Morocco MarEA 1st September 2020


The Mogador site

External links

Case study Essaouira

UNESCO World Heritage

Editing a Compact City
1994 - 2004


UNESCO project
Urban Development and Freshwater Resources: Small Coastal Cities

UN Habitat
Localising Agenda 21
in Essaouira