History of


Discover the fascinating history of Agadir since it was founded by Yusuf ibn Tashfin, leader of the Moroccan Almoravid empire, up until the present day.

The thriving coastal city of Morocco

In the 1930s, the plans of Agadir were prepared by the urbanist Henri Prost, director of thecity planning services during the Protectorate, and his assistant Albert Laprade. A modern city centerwas built little by little, using the shape of a horseshoe from the seafront until LyauteyAvenue, known nowadays as GénéralKettaniAvenue.

After 1950, with the opening of the new commercial port, the dynamic city of Agadir developed with fishing, canning factories, agriculture and the mining industry. Tourism also started to flourish thanks to the sunny weather and the beautiful hotels.

In 1952 and a couple of years after that, the city organized theGrand Prix of Agadir, and then the Moroccan Grand Prix.

In 1959, the harbor welcomedthe yacht of the Greek ship-owner, Aristote Onassis, and his host, Winston Churchill.

Agadir was in a great economic growth before the disaster and had a population of more than 40 000 inhabitants.

After the earthquake

Agadir became a big city (680 000 inhabitants in 2004), with its huge harbor composed of a commercial port, a fishing port and a marina. Agadir was the first port for sardines in the world in the 1980s, and has a famous beach, stretching over 10 km with one of the most beautiful seafront promenades in the world. With its white buildings, its large flowered boulevards, its modern hotels and its European style cafés, Agadir is not a typical and traditional Moroccan city, but a modern town, active and dynamic, definitely open to the future.

Agadir’s Earthquake

The earthquake occurred on Monday, February 29, 1960, at 11:47pm local time. It was the most destructive and deadliest earthquake in Moroccan history with a magnitude of more than 5.9 on the Richter scale, killing around 15 000 people (about a third of the population) and injuring another 12 000. At least 35 000 people were left homeless.In areas such as the Kasbahand Yachech the death toll raised to 95 per cent of the population, and manybuildings were completely shattered.

Rescue efforts were mobilized by many nations almost at once. The first news of the disaster was given to the world by the radios of Spanish fishing boats in Agadir harbor. Rescue trucks arrived to the city within an hour after the earthquake. They were followed by Moroccan and French soldiers.

The following day, King Mohammed V arrived in Agadir and immediately asked his son, Prince Moulay Hassan, to be in charge of all the rescue operations.On the same day, planes coming from US military basesin Morocco and Germany arrived to bring food.Spanish miitary forces would also send planes with more food and soldiers.

In conclusion, the earthquake of February 29, 1960 was one of the most devastating local quakes. Within a few seconds and over an area of a few square miles, the city of Agadir was completely destroyed and over a third of its citizens killed.
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