Protected by the tradewinds and surrounded by flowers, Essaouira “la Blanche” is the centre of the cabinet makers’ craft. Master craftsmen produce delicate marquetery in lemon, cedar and sandalwood, preserving the character and aroma of these fine woods.
NOT TO BE MISSED
Essentially dedicated to fishing, it is one of the liveliest area of the town, especially during the return of the boats. Fish are sold by auction. Do not miss this spectacle. Enter the harbor by the customs post located at the top of the beach or by the ‘Madne’ door. Wharfs are transformed from old naval yards. You will see there wooden boats under construction as you will never see anywhere else. Their shapes evoke ancient times.
THE DOOR OF THE MARINE
Built in the year 1184 in order to join the town to the harbor, it was constructed by an English renegade. It is decorated with two columns of a classical triangular pediment. A staircase allows you to get to the top of the harbor Skala defensive wall. Very lovely view on the beach and on the ‘purpuraires’ islands. Cannons are decorated of Portuguese, Spanish and Flemish armories. It is in this astonishing scenery that Orson Welles filmed some scenes of its Othello movie which won the Palme d’Or at the 1952 Cannes festival.
Enter through the door of the Marine, walk toward Moulay El-Hassan square and turn left on the Casbah street which borders the ramparts. You must go under the arch in order to discover, in the former warehouses of munitions, craftmens’ workshops. Their works are in thuja wood, inlaid of citrus wood, ebony and sometimes of copper wire. Try to go up by the rail which conducts to the 200 meter platform, protected from the ocean by a crenellated wall constructed with blocks of sawn rocks. From the top, you can see the saw traces and the hole, vestige of the maneuver which was used to move these rocks. Lovely collection of bronze cannons pointed at the ocean.