“Medina” meaning walled city with many narrow, maize-like streets.
The Essaouria Medina is an outstanding example of a fortified town of the mid eighteenth century. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Listed City.
Home to many small arts and crafts businesses, notably cabinet making and “thuya” wood carving (using roots of the Tetraclinis tree), both of which have been practiced in Essaouira for centuries.
It is a Multicultural Centre with co-existence, since its foundation, of diverse ethnic groups such as Amazighs, Arabs, Africans and Europeans as well as multiconfessional (Muslim, Christian and Jewish).
The fishing harbour, suffering from the competition of Agadir and Safi remains rather small, although the catches (sardines, conger eels) are surprisingly abundant due to the coastal upwelling generated by the powerful trade winds and the Canaries current. Essaouira remains one of the major fishing harbours in Morocco.