South of Casablanca, in the city of El Jadida, is one of the most beautiful historical and mysterious places of Morocco. It is a former Portuguese cistern, now open to visitors. Consider renting a car to get there.
The city of El Jadida, south of Casablanca, has several sites to visit. Classified as a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 2004, the Portuguese cistern is undoubtedly part of them. Built under the fortified castle in 1514 by the Portuguese, this vast area has a rich and mysterious history.
It had first served as armory before being transformed into a cistern to hold sieges. It then was closed and forgotten until 1916, when a trader discovered it by chance while he simply wanted to enlarge his shop.
With 6 naves, 25 columns and skylight in the center, the old cistern of 1 100m² has a poetic atmosphere, even mystical. It has also attracted several filmmakers such as Francis Ford Coppola or Orson Welles who shots some scenes of the movie Othello.
A little advice from Hertz Morocco : rent an automatic car to drive to El Jadida and to go visit the Portuguese cistern.
The Portuguese cistern is located in the main street of the old medina of El Jadida : Rue Mohammed al Hachmi Bahbah. From Casablanca, it is a 1h15 drive. The cistern is open everyday, from 9am to 1pm and to 3pm to 6pm. The guided tour costs 10dhs per adult (around 0,90€) and 3dhs (around 0,30€) per kid (under 12 years old).