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TOUS LES ARTICLES :

LE DERNIER N°
• THE GNAOUA
• ARAB-ANDALUSIAN MUSIC
• HISTORY OF A RELIGION

GUIDO N° 45
• TOWARDS CAPE SIM
• DAR SOLTAN AND BORJ EL OUED
• SHELL FISHING
• THE LMAHALOU SPRING

GUIDO N° 44
• THE ZAOUÏAS
• DOORS HAVE THEIR SECRETS
• DATES AND PALM TREES

GUIDO N° 43
• THE TOWNS OF ESSAOUIRA AND SAINT-MALO: TWIN SISTERS OR MIRROR IMAGES OF EACH OTHER ?
• RAFFIA CRAFT MIRO : AN EXCEPTIONAL DESIGNER
• SAFI COASTAL ROAD KASBAH HAMIDOUCH, AGOUZ, SOUIRA KÉDIMA

GUIDO N° 42
• ETERNAL MAGIC YESTERYEAR MEMORIES TODAY’S IMPRESSIONS - !!!!!
• THE SYNAGOGUE SLAT LKALHAL
• SPICES

GUIDO N° 41
• ESSAOUIRA: « A WORLD WITHIN A TOWN »
• THE NATIONAL TEA MUSEUM IN ESSAOUIRA, A CHINESE AND MOROCCAN PARTNERSHIP
• ESSAOUIRA AND ITS REGION ENHANCED BY THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE ARGAN TREE
• A TOP QUALITY SARDINE

GUIDO N° 40
• UNIQUE MODEL SHIPS IN THE MEDINA!
• AN OUTSTANDING ARGAN TREE! YES, BUT WHY?
• THE DROMEDARY CAMEL AND THE BACTRIAN CAMEL
• LEMONS AND THEIR PROPERTIES

GUIDO N° 39
• EDITO N° 39
• MOULAY HASSAN SQUARE
• BREATHE, SWIM AND MOVE AROUND: SUMMER IS HERE!
• THE GNAOUA AND THE FESTIVAL

GUIDO N° 38
• THE ATTIA SYNAGOGUE: A FUTURE MUSEUM OF JUDAISM?
• THE RETURN OF THE BALD IBIS OR GERONTICUS EREMITA
• AÏN AHJAR OR THE « SOURCE FROM THE ROCKS »

GUIDO N° 37
• PUBLIC LETTER-WRITERS, A LONG LASTING TRADE!!
• THE INLAYERS’ COOPERATIVE
• THE MENZEH (OR WAREHOUSE)
• YENNAYER OR BERBER NEW YEAR OR AMAZIGH
• THE BRIDAL VEIL BROOM OR « BILOUGUI »

GUIDO N° 36
• THE PORTUGUESE CHURCH & THE DANISH CONSULATE
• ELEONORA’S FALCON
• FROM ESSAOUIRA TO SIDI KAOUKI DUNES, DESERTED BEACHES AND FISHERMEN’S VILLAGES

GUIDO N° 35
• REED CRAFTSMEN
• SAFI : THE MEDINA AND THE MARABOUT ALONG THE COAST
• TOWN ZAPPING
• THE TRAVELLER’S TREE OR RAVENALA MADAGASCARIENSIS

GUIDO N° 34
• THE SLAT LAKLHAL SYNAGOGUE
• THE DONKEY: NOT SO STUBBORN!

GUIDO N° 33
• ORGANIC HORSEHAIR : AN OLD STORY!
• FROM OLIVE TO OIL ! : ZITOUN, ZITOUNA, ZIT…
• BLACK OLIVE JAM
• THE TRACKS AROUND SIDI KAOUKI

GUIDO N° 32
• BEACONS AND SEA MARKS : REFERENCE POINTS FOR SAILORS
• WELL BEING CENTRES
• SAFI

GUIDO N° 31
• GNAOUA AND WORLD MUSIC
• A NEW LIFE FOR THE INDUSTRIAL ZONE?
• AZEMMOUR
• THE TAZOTA
• GATHERED IN THE PAPERS AS DAYS WENT BY

GUIDO N° 30
• ESSAOUIRA, THE « EVER-CHANGING »
• THE CAFÉ-HÔTEL AABDI AND THE AABDA TRIBE
• WATCHTOWER-MOUCHARABIEH-PEEPHOLE
• GREEN TOURISM IN IDA OUGOURD
• IN-CITY ZAPPING

GUIDO N° 29
• THE CLOCK
• LA FIXATION DES DUNES À ESSAOUIRA
• THE WATIER STATION - MOULAY BOUZERKTOUN
• BEAUTY SECRETS FROM MOROCCAN WOMEN
• TOWN ZAPPING

GUIDO N° 28
• FESTIVAL OF THE ATLANTIC ANDALUSIAS 2010
• TOWN CHECK
• PARADISE VALLEY

GUIDO N° 27
• THE WOOL SOUK IN ESSAOUIRA, A VANISHING ACTIVITY
• REHABILITATION OF THE ESSAOUIRA MELLAH AND OF THE SCALA AREA
• TAGENZA AND GARA GARA

GUIDO N° 26
• EDITO N° 26
• FLOODING, THE BRIDGES OF DIABET
• THE ZERRAR DAM
• SIDI MOGDUL
• OUALIDIA OR WALIDIA

GUIDO N° 25
• ALICE’S LOOKING GLASS : IOSU URIZ
• THE SOAPS OF MOGADOR

• HAMMAM AND SPA
• ITINERARY IN THE RED TOWN

GUIDO N° 24
• STREET ART
• THE ARGAN OIL FROM SIDI YASSINE
• A TOUR TO NEKNAFA AND ITS « SPA »

GUIDO N° 23
• LOGBOOK ENTRIES : MEMORIES OF THE PORT
• THE SQALAS
• THE WATER
• A TOUR OF THE COASTLINE AROUND ESSAOUIRA

GUIDO N° 22

GUIDO N° 13
• EDITO N° 13

Guido : 36 - THE PORTUGUESE CHURCH & THE DANISH CONSULATE

The Portuguese Church in the Medina of Essaouira is a major gem in the town and a must in the urban landscape: the restoration of this monument is of great urgency and should proceed quickly.

The Portuguese church adjoining the Consulate in the Ibn Zohr cul-de-sac is in a neglected state: the church tower is in danger of crumbling down. An arched window bringing light to a prayer room and a freestone front door framed by two pilasters with capitals and looking as if it has been closed for years, give unto the road.

A phantom church whose remains can be seen when one climbs on the neighbouring terraces in Ibn Rochd Street which overlook the back of the building. As for the Portuguese Consulate, it is in the same neglected state as its neighbour: it adjoins the church on the right at the end of the cul-de-sac.
Legend has it that when Sultan Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah, the founder of Essaouira, first visited the town, he turned around towards his followers and uttered these words: “Whoever enters this town as a poor man, will leave it a rich man. As, in this city, riches come from very far away…”
This sentence is witness to the historical context when numerous trade treaties were signed with European countries.
From the XIV Century onwards, Europe will be interested in the African Atlantic Coast for many reasons. The situation of Mogador in relation to the Mazagan-Agadir axis was of very early concern to the Portuguese: with the taking of Safi and Mazagan in mind, the Portuguese King, Manuel The Great (1495-1521), ordered the building of a fortress on the site of Mogador facing the big island in 1506: it was El Castillo Real (the royal castle).

It was in this context that the various Consulates and the Portuguese church were built so as to offer the Christian community living in Essaouira an urban framework conform especially to their religious activities and to encourage them to settle down in some other places like El Jadida (or Mazagan under the Protectorate). Some of these Consulates were rehabilitated for public purposes, like the French or the Italian Consulates; others were left practically to ruin.

The church, named the Portuguese Church, situated at the foot of the Southern door of the Scala in the Medina, was built towards the end of the XVIII century by the first European traders settled in the town. The front of the building and its main entrance, fitting closely within the surrounding historical fabric, are situated at the end of a partly covered cul-de-sac. The ornate freestone front door is framed by two pilasters with capitals. Above the door, an arched window brings light to the prayer room on the first floor.

This monument is organised around a central yard and has three levels:
• The ground floor composed of a series of rooms used once as warehouses, whose access is possible from two levels of galleries supported by four drum pillars, each crowned by freestone capitals.
• The first floor composed of a church hall of 15.42m.
Its four galleries open unto rooms once used as lodgings.
·• The tower (7.8m high from the terrace level) is composed of two parts both topped by a semi spherical dome once sheltering the bells. A tiled roof with curved slopes- a clear reminder of the shape of old Portuguese churches- links up the rectangular part of the tower, the cylindrical ridge and its dome.
From a Casablanca architect file

In 2008, a 5 Million dirham rehabilitation project for the Portuguese Church planned for the creation of exhibition rooms, of a multi-purpose room (shows, screenings, conferences, exhibitions), of a specialized library (Art, History, Art History), of a workshop (painting, music instruments, jewels, music, photography) as well as of lodgings for the artists and for the participants invited by the town.

This very ambitious project which attempted to protect the old Medina of Essaouira by enhancing its architectural heritage, by improving the tourist trip around the town while creating a meeting space for local and foreign artists and intellectuals as well as a workshop for creators, would have led to the promotion of local art and cultural heritage. It was not finalized. Today and each passing month see the church degradation: the question that every one is asking is “Will the church end up disappearing altogether?”