Essaouira Mogador is a town at the Atlantic coast of Morocco
Essaouira

 
En langue française
 

 

The Island of Mogador

Les îles purpuraires

 

The Mogador Bay is almost closed by the large Island of Mogador, making it a relatively peaceful harbour protected against the strong winds of the area and it has long been considered as one of the best anchorages of the Moroccan coast. Also for access to fresh water. The supply of building-stones and wood facilitated the construction of fortifications.

The Island of Mogador 1764

Notice the passage between the Island of Mogador and the mainland.


Ile de Mogador , un patrimoine universel à préserver.

This video is made by students from Lycee Mohammed V, Essaouira, at the occasion of International Day for Biological Diversity, 22 May 2014,
with the theme Island biodiversity.


 

 

 

Old map drawn by Theodore Cornut in 1767

The map of Theodore Cornut from 1767 shows the bay of Essaouira with
the Island of Mogador, the port with Castelo Real (Chateau) and the new Kasbah Medina.

Island of Mogador

In the 6th century BC, the Phoenicians founded a settlement at the island
and they named it Migdal , Migdol ("watchtower").

The Romans were interested of the site because of the rich fishing waters and its famous seashell,"Murex" from which a valuable purple dye was produced.
The King of Maurtania, Juba II (48BC - AD 23), sent a contingent to "the Purple Island" (Iles Purpuraires) to re-establish the ancient Phoenician dye manufacturing process.


Show the map Essaouira Natural bigger.

There are six old bastions built in stone on the island. 4 late 18th century construction of defensive fortresses constructed by the Sultan Sidi MOhammed ben Abdallah and 2 others by Moulay Abderrahmane.

There is also a mosque and a prison which was built in 1897 by order of the Sultan Moulay Abdelaziz to lock up the rebels of Rhamna tribe ( Terhamla tribe) .

The open air prison also served as accomodation for the pilgrims who used to come from Mecca,
" The house of Quarantine" and they used to live ther for 40 days in order to learn about who was sick.

A fort on the Island of Mogador

Rusty canons in a late stone fortification. Bastion of the mosque.

The prison of the island of Mogador

The prison
A rectangular wall sufficient high with with only one way in and out.
No roof.

Mogador Islandf fort



Berber prisoners

EVENEMENTS du MAROC
MOGADOR - Berber prisoners taken to prison by the order of Sultan Abdul Aziz
(Sultan of Morocco 1878-1943)

 

The prison gateway wiht doors

The 4 prison gates.
The only entry or exit was through theese doors.

 

The mosque on the island of Mogador

The mosque

Mogador Island Mosque and Forts

Today the island is a nature reserv and has a great bio-ecologigal importance.
A number of different species of birds breed here among thoose the internationally protected
Eleonora's Falcon on its way to wintering in Madagascar.
Returning in April and May.
Endangered species:    Eleonora's Falcon
The Hellenic Ornithological Society

Endangered species: Eleonora's Falcon

8 more species are regarded as rare

fauvette nélanocéphale
goéland leucophée
grand cormoran
faucon crécerelle
faucon pèlerin
grand corbeau
martinet pâle
pigeon bise.


The islands are inhabited and access forbidden to preserve the undisturbed environment for the breeding bird population. There is a conservationist keeping eye of this rare eco system.
For birdspotting tours can be made by boat around the islands but entering the islands requires a special permission.

Birds in Essaouira with birdwatching spots.

Liens externes françaises:

LES FAUCONS DE MOGADOR, par Bob Oré Abitbol

 

Map of the Islands of Mogador

 

The archeological value of the islands is unmeasurable for learning about prehistoric settlements and the way of life of native populations. Studying the fortifications we learn about ancient methods of construction adapted to the supply of local building materials and natural external conditions. The Phoenician, Romans, Portugeese and the Sultan Sidi Mohammed ben Abdellah - all contributed to make the Island of Mogador a strategic stronghold for defense, trade and for further exploration of Africa and the Americas.

Punic vase found on the island

Punic vase found on the island.

Amphora

Amphoras found in the waters between the island of Mogador and the island of Pharaon.
300 - 400 AD
(The Sidi Mohammaed ben Abdallah museum, Essaouira)

 

"D'ou la raison et l'importance du programme de recherches archeologiques lance sur ce site par une equipe scientifique maroco-allemande dans le cadre de la cooperation bilaterale dans le domaine culturel qui unit l'Institut national des sciences de l'archeologie et du patrimoine (INSAP) et les departements de l'institut allemand de recherches archeologiques (Deutsches Archaologisches Institut) a Bonn et Madrid.
" Ce programme a pour objectif principal l'etude de l'Ile de Mogador et les occupations antiques qu'elle a connues, a savoir l'occupation phenicienne datant du 7e ou 6e siecle av.J.C, l'occupation mauritanienne, la phase de Juba II et enfin l'occupation romaine qui s'est achevee vers la fin du 3e siecle apres J.C ", a confie a la Map, M. Mikdad Abdeslem, enseignant chercheur a l'INSAP et co-directeur de ce programme de recherches."

Phoenician plate with red slip, 7th century BC

Phoenician plate with red slip, 7th century BC, excavated in Mogador island, Essaouira, Morocco

Source: https://twitter.com/GroovyHistorian

 


 

 

 

The small islands

Azrou Aylal

Jarf Aylal

Old postcard The passage between Borj Bermil and the small island

The small island

Dzira Sghira

The scala of this island was constructed in 1836 (1258 Hegira )
by Hadj Mohammed Toufeelaaz.
All the canons of this small fort was thrown into the sea
by the French when they bombarded the town in 1844
M.OQBA/Essaouira La Seductrice 2007

Fort de la petit ile, Mogador

Mogador Dzira Sghira


dzira mougador,

 

 

Mogador


The Island of Mogador
 

External links

Phoenicia

Juba II

Eleonora's Falcon

LES FAUCONS DE MOGADOR par Bob Oré Abitbol