The Portuguese cistern of El Jadida

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 Portuguese cistern of El Jadida


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.


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Practical information

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).