1902 Encyclopedia > Mogador, Morocco


MOGADOR, or SUERAII (Berber Tasurt), the most southern seaport town on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, and the capital of the province of Halm, stands from 10 to 20 feet above high water on a projecting ridge of calcareous sandstone in 31° 30' N. lat. and 10° 41' W. long. in certain states of wind and sea it is turned almost into an island, and a sea-wall protects the road to Saffi. The streets are regular and, for a Moorish town, broad and clean. Within the walls there are three distinct divisions : the citadels old and new with the government buildings; to the north-west the outer town with its spacious markets in the centre ; and at the north-west corner the Mellah, or Jews' quarter. In the citadels the houses are fairly good, and considerable attention is paid to sanitary matters. Water is brought from the Kseb, about 1 § miles to the south, by an aqueduct. The prosperity of Mogador is clue to its commerce ; only a few gardens break the barrenness of the immediate vicinity. The harbour or roadstead, though apparently protected by the island and quarantine station of Mogador, is extremely dangerous during west and south-west winds. Trade is carried on mainly with Marseilles, London, Gibraltar, and the Canaries, - the prin cipal exports being almonds, goat-skins, gums, olive oil, and ostrich feathers, and the principal imports cotton goods (half of the total) and tea. The average value of the exports for the five years 1877-1881 was about £210,000, the imports rather less. Attention has been frequently directed to the value of Mogador as a health resort, especially for consumptive patients. The climate is remarkably steady : mean temperature of the hottest month 71.06, of coldest month 58.69. , The annual rainfall is only 10 or 12 inches, and the rainy days of winter and spring about 28. The sirocco is but rarely felt. The population is about 15,000 (7000 Jews, about 150 foreigners). Jews, Protestants, and Roman Catholics have religious edifices in the town.
A place called Mogador is marked in the 1351 Portulan of the Laurentian Library, and the map in Dondius's Atlas Minor shows the island of Mogador I. Donzegador ; but the origin of the present town is much more recent. Nog:idol. was founded by Sultan Mohammed, and completed in 1770. The town received from the Moors the name of Suerah (little picture), while the Portuguese called it after the shrine of Sidi Mogadul, which lies towards the south half-way to the village of Diabat, and forms a striking landmark for seamen. In 1844 the citadel was bombarded by the French.

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