Essaouira ( ESS-ə-WEER-ə; Arabic: الصويرة, romanized: aṣ-Ṣawīra; Tachelhit: ⵜⴰⵚⵚⵓⵔⵜ, romanized: Taṣṣort), known until the 1960s as Mogador (Arabic: موغادور, romanized: Mūghādūr, or موݣادور, Mūgādūr; Tachelhit: ⴰⵎⴳⴷⵓⵍ, romanized: Amegdul), is a port city in the western Moroccan region of Marakesh-Safi, on the Atlantic coast. It has 77,966 inhabitants as of 2014.
The foundation of the city of Essaouira was the work of the Moroccan 'Alawid sultan Mohammed bin Abdallah, who made an original experiment by entrusting it to several renowned architects in 1760, in particular Théodore Cornut and Ahmed al-Inglizi, who designed the city using French captives from the failed French expedition to Larache in 1765, and with the mission of building a city adapted to the needs of foreign merchants. Once built, it continued to grow and experienced a golden age and exceptional development, becoming the country's most important commercial port but also its diplomatic capital between the end of the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century.
Medina of Essaouira was designated by the UNESCO a World Heritage Site in 2001.