The Port of Agadir lies on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean ten kilometers north of the Sous Valley in southwestern Morocco. The Port of Agadir is surrounded by agricultural plains of the irrigated Sous Valley where cereals, citrus fruits, and olives are grown and goats, sheep, and cattle are raised. In 2004, over 678 thousand people called the Port of Agadir home.
In 1960, the Port of Agadir was almost completely destroyed by a 15-second long earthquake that buried the city and killed as many as 15 thousand people. The quake destroyed the ancient and famous Kasbah. Still standing is the front gate with a sign that reads in Dutch: “Fear God an Honour thy King.”
Until the early 16th Century, only a fishing village occupied the site of today’s Port of Agadir. In 1505, the Portuguese trading post called Santa Cruz do Cabo de Gué was built there with a Portuguese governor. The Kingdom of Fez Wattasid took control of the town in 1541 and built a fortification, the Kasbah, on a hilltop that overlooked the bay. For the next two centuries, the Port of Agadir was a prosperous and growing city.
A German gunboat arrived in 1911 to “protect the local German community.” Its arrival brought about the “Agadir Crisis,” a politically-motivated move to influence France’s position in European rivalries. The crisis ended in the Treaty of Fez through which Germany accepted France’s rule of Morocco in exchange for territory in the Congo. The main affect of the crisis was, however, occupation of the city by French troops in 1913 and complete control of Morocco by France, ending the country’s independence.
After the terrible 1960 earthquake, tidal wave, and fire that destroyed the Port of Agadir, Morocco’s King Muhammad V announced plans to rebuild the city. Reconstruction began in 1961 two kilometers south of the epicenter of the earthquake.