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Mogador

MOGADOR (Es-Sueira), the most southern seaport on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, in 31 50' N., 9 20' W., the capital of the province of Haha. Pop. (1908), about 20,000, of whom nearly a half are said to be Jews, and about 100 Europeans. The town stands from 10 to 20 ft. above high water on a projecting ridge of calcareous sandstone. In certain states of wind and sea it is turned almost into an island, and a sea-wall protects the road to Saffi. On the land side stretch miles of sand-dunes studded with broom, and beyond, the argan forests, distinctive of southern Morocco. Approached from this side the city bursts on the view like a mirage between sky and sea, and this perhaps entitles it to its name Es-Sueira " the picture." It is the best planned and cleanest town in the empire, and this combined with the climate, which is very equable, makes it a health resort, especially for consumptive patients. The mean temperature of the hottest month is 7i-o6, and of the coldest month s8-69. The rainfall varies between 13 and 20 in. annually. The water supply is carried by an overground conduit from a spring near Diabat. The prosperity of Mogador is due to its commerce. The harbour is well sheltered from all winds except the southwest, but escape is difficult with the wind from that quarter, as the channel between the town and Mogador Island is narrow and hazardous. It is the best-built port of the sultanate and is generally second in point of trade, which is carried on mainly with Marseilles, London, Gibraltar and the Canaries, the principal exports being almonds, goat-skins, gums and olive-oil, and the principal imports cotton goods, sugar and tea. The exports were valued at 407,000 in 1900 and at 364,000 in 1006. The imports were worth 246,000 in 1900 and 368,000 in 1906. Shipping, 1900, 132,000 tons; 1906, 140,000 tons.

A place called Mogador is marked in the 1351 Portulan of the Laurentian library, and the map in Hondius's Atlas minor shows the island of Mogador, I. Domegador; but the origin of the present town is much more recent. Mogador was founded by Mohammed XVII. (bin Abd Allah) in 1760, and completed in 1770. The Portuguese called it after the shrine of Sidi Megdul, 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.

See A. H. Dye, " Les Ports du Maroc," in Bull. Soc. Geog. Comm. Paris (1908), xxx. 313 sqq., and British Consular reports.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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