Essaouira (previously known as Mogador) is a picturesque Moroccan city located along the Atlantic coast, 170km west of Marrakech. The historic centre of Essaouira (the Medina) is completely surrounded by well-preserved walls and is sandwiched between the beach and the fishing harbour. The area has been settled since prehistoric times, but the current city was built in the 18th century under the reign of Mohammed III, who employed European architects and technicians. Nowadays the Medina of Essaouira consists to a large extent of souvenir shops, cafes adn restaurants, who cater to the large number of tourists who come to visit the city. Essaouira has been a UNESCO World heritage site since 2001.
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