L’appropriation portugaise des villes marocaines atlantiques à la fin du Moyen Âge: Fortification et espace urbain à Safi et à Azemmour

Translated title of the contribution: The portuguese appropriation of moroccan atlantic cities by the end of the Middle Ages: Fortification and urban space in Safi and Azemmour

André Teixeira, Luís Gil, Karra Azzeddine

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Abstract

By the end of the middle ages, Safi and Azemmour were two major cities due to their intense maritime commercial activity and their proximity to Marrakech, the capital of the country at that time. This meant led to the construction of various defensive devices under the Almohad dynasty. In the case of Azemmour, its partial decline lead to a reconfiguration of the city by the end of the Marinid occupation. Taking advantage of the fragility of the central power in Fez and the growing local autonomy, the Portuguese negotiated a privileged position in these ports by the end of the 15th century, eventually winning them over at the beginning of the next. At this moment, they introduced changes to the pre-existing fortifications, trying to adapt them to the new challenges of the art of war, namely the spread of firearms.
This text aims to reconstruct the plan of the medieval walls of Safi and Azemmour, using the results of the archaeological projects developed in these two cities by a Moroccan-Portuguese team in recent years. This new data is an important testimony for this period in these two settlements. The construction works carried out by the Portuguese in the walls are also analysed, taking into account the different dimension and historical singularities of both cities, since they mirror the projects and the different circumstances of the Portuguese action in North Africa.
Translated title of the contributionThe portuguese appropriation of moroccan atlantic cities by the end of the Middle Ages: Fortification and urban space in Safi and Azemmour
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)177-205
Number of pages28
JournalHespéris-Tamuda
VolumeLVI
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Archaeology
  • Portugal
  • North Africa
  • Urbanism
  • Military architecture
  • XIV-XVI century
  • XVI

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