Ksar es-Seghir (or Alcacer Ceguer in Portuguese – meaning small castle), is a small town on the Mediterranean coast (located on the Strait of Gibraltar). It was a medieval port midway between Tanger and Ceuta and was an strategic location for control over the region.
The first settlement dates back to the Muslim conquest in 708-709. In 1287, sultan ‘Abu Yaqub Yusuf’ (under the Marinid empire) constructed thick walls around the circular town, with 29 bastions and three monumental gates . Between 1458-1550, it was under Portuguese control.
Unlike other cities in the region, Ksar es-Seghir was abandoned in the mid-16th century and thereby lost its role as a transit port. Thereafter, it collapsed in size and importance, and became a relatively insignificant fishing town, amid the ruins of the old Moroccan citadel and Portuguese fort. A more modern town arose later, on the right bank of the river, across the old citadel.
Nowadays, it is relatively an insignificant place but it is still recognised as important location for archaeological investigation of the medieval life. The remains of a Moroccan citadel and Portuguese fort are still interesting attractions to explore. Next to that the beaches at Ksar es-Seghir are covered in pristine soft sand at the point where the Mediterranean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean on the Strait of Gibraltar. There are also some nice cafés and restaurants nearby which all together makes it worthwhile for an enjoyable day-trip.
In 2011, the Moroccan government established an important military basis for the Royal Moroccan Navy. Next to that, located twelve kilometers northeast, in 2007 they start to construct the Tanger-Med commercial cargo port which has given Ksar es-Seghir an economic boost.
Ksar es-Sghir is part of the tourism region ‘Cap Nord‘ of Morocco.
Source pictures: https://www.flickr.com/photos/waltom/