Cité Portugaise

Top choice historic site

in El Jadida

Head through the main entrance gate of the Unesco-protected Cité Portugaise off Place Mohammed Ben Abdallah, and on the left are the early 16th-century Church of the Assumption and the Grande Mosquée de Mazagan boasting a unique five-sided minaret. Stop off at the atmospheric vaulted cistern – La Citerne Portugaise (adult/child Dh60/25) – before scaling a steep slope up to the hefty ramparts, where the Bastion de L’Ange makes an excellent photo stop, with views out to the ocean and the port.

A stroll along the ramparts takes you to the Bastion de St Sébastian, passing a ruined synagogue still sporting a Star of David on its facade.

At the end of the main road is the Porte de la Mer, the original sea gate where ships used to unload their cargo. To the left, through an archway, is a communal bakery where women still bring their bread to be baked.

And you might recognise the cistern, lit by a single shaft of light, as the location for the dramatic riot scene in Orson Welles’ 1951 film Othello.