international programs

Sister Cities

El Jadida, Morocco

Tacoma's Sister City since 2007

El Jadida is a port city on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, in the province of El Jadida. The city’s appearance is a beautiful and unique architectural mixture of Moorish-Portuguese-French influence. El Jadida has a beautiful and long coast line that attracts over 10 million visitors from around the world each year. It has a population of 144,440 (2004 census) and is the port for Marrakech and other Moroccan cities. Morocco is the most westernized Arabic nation in the world. Morocco sits 7 kilometers south of Spain and is bordered by both the Mediterranean and Atlantic seas.

El Jadida is just 90 kilometers south of Casablanca, and has been influenced throughout history by many European countries, especially France. El Jadida, previously known as Mazagan (Portuguese: Mazagao), was seized in 1502 by the Portuguese. In 1769, it came under Moroccan rule and the city was renamed, El Jadida, meaning “new.” It is the only city in Morocco registered as an UNESCO World Heritage Site, since 2004, on the basis of its status as an “outstanding example of the interchange of influences between European and Moroccan cultures” and as an “early example of the realization of the Renaissance ideals integrated with Portuguese construction technology.”

According to UNESCO, the cistern housed within the stone walls of the ancient Portuguese fort and the Manueline church of the Assumption are the most important buildings in the city. However, visitors from around the world, find El Jadida to be a progressive city that has all the amenities.

 

El Jadida Sister City Chairperson 

Frances Lorenz