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Agadir History

Mar 12

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3/12/2011 10:19 PM  RssIcon

The History of Agadir

Agadir has a rich, colorful history. Visitors will be surprised to know what lies beneath the scenic atmosphere of this major city. Every city has a story; Agadir is no different.
To begin with, the name “Agadir” is actually a borrowed word originating from Phoenician. In the Berber language, the name translates to, “a wall encircling a town”. However, in medieval times, Agadir was just a simple fishing village called “Agadir el-arba”. However, this small village saw a great amount of change.
 
In 1505, “Santa Cruz do Cabo de Gue”, a trading post, was established in Agadir under a Portuguese governor. After a rather long occupancy by the Portuguese, the Saadi Dynasty of Morocco, who had ruled only in the south of Morocco, defeated the Portuguese and conquered the city in what is known as “The Fall of Agadir” in 1541. After this, a fortress, the Kasbah, was built overlooking the bay. Agadir saw a prosperous two centuries until 1731. In the year 1731, the town was completely demolished by an earthquake. Agadir’s harbor was shut down when Essaouira was built further north.
            
In 1911, a full-fledged rebellion broke out against Sultan Abdelhafid in Morocco. By April, the Sultan was cornered in the palace of Fez. It was at this moment that the French prepared to send their troops to control the rebellion under the cover of protecting European goods and citizens. The French military sent their land force units at the end of that April.
          
The Spaniards took Larache and Ksar-el-Kerbir on June 5th, 1911. However, on July 1st, 1911, the gunboat Panther of Germany entered the port of Agadir to protect the German locals. However, this provoked an immediate response from the French and British. This set off the Agadir Crisis between the countries of France and Germany which allowed France to occupy nearly the entire kingdom of Morocco by 1913. During this period, France established a complete protectorate over Morocco in 1912; ending this country’s state of independence.
 
Unfortunately, on February 29th, 1960, a fifteen second earthquake nearly demolished the entire city of Agadir. The city was almost completely buried and approximately 15,000 people were killed. During the earthquake, the ancient Kasbah was destroyed. However, the following Dutch sentence can still be read on its gate: “Fear God and Honor thy King”. Upon seeing Agadir in ruins, the Moroccan king Muhammad V stated that: “If destiny decided the destruction of Agadir, its rebuilding depends of our Faith and Will.” The reconstruction of the city began in 1961.
 
Today, Agadir is not a typically, traditional Moroccan town. Rather, it is a dynamic city with great beaches, wide roads, and many European-style cafes that attract tourists from all over the world looking for all year long sun. Agadir is situated on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean and at the base of the Atlas Mountains. It is one of the most modern places to visit when traveling to Morocco. It is a prime winter getaway for most Europeans since its temperature averages about 25.5 degrees Celsius or 70 degrees Fahrenheit in January. Today, Agadir is a very busy and successful commercial and fishing port. Agadir has the first sardine port in the world but also exports goods such as zine, cobalt, and citrus. It is a very eventful city which is famous for its sea food and agriculture. 
 
Agadir Pictures
 
Agadir beach sunset
 
Agadir Hassan II Avenue


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