Essaouira is an exceptional example of a late-18th-century fortified town, built according to the principles of contemporary European military architecture in a North African context. Since its foundation, it has been a major international trading seaport, linking Morocco and its Saharan hinterland with Europe and the rest of the world.
Justification for Inscription
Criterion ii Essaouira is an outstanding and well preserved example of a late 18th century European fortified seaport town translated to a North African context. Criterion iv With the opening up of Morocco to the rest of the world in the later 17th century Essaouira was laid out by a French architect who had been profoundly influenced by the work of Vauban at Saint-Malo. It has retained its European appearance to a substantial extent.