El Jadida, and the “citerne portugais” of Orson Welles

We drove to El Jadida and discovered that along with the coastal beaches there is a stretch from about 10 km outside town into the city that is heavily industrial. Smokestacks from a power plant and phosphate plant are followed by a huge port facility, petroleum storage, LPG storage, one huge facility after another. None of the guidebooks mention this. It’s a bit otherworldly after driving through agricultural countryside for quite a while.

We went to El Jadida specifically to visit the old town, which is not the medina, but the Portugese walled city of the 1500s. Inside is a large cistern made famous by Orson Welles, who filmed a scene of Othello there. It’s very atmospheric.

The Portugese area is quite small, though picturesque. After a cup of coffee on a terrace (we couldn’t find one with a view of the ocean), we headed back to Oualidia.


Published by winifredcreamer

I am a retired archaeologist and I like to travel, especially to places where you can walk along the shore or watch birds. My husband Jonathan and I travel for more than half the year every year, seeing all the places that we haven't gotten to yet.

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