Agadir is a city in south of Morocco, capital of the Souss-Massa-Daraa region. It has a population of 678,596 (2004; census figures for the agglomeration include the near-by cities of Inezgane and Melloul); the population of the city proper is estimated at 200,000. The mild winter climate (January average midday temperature 20°C/68°F) and good beaches have made it a major “winter sun” destination for Northern Europeans.
The city is located on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean, near the foot of the Atlas Mountains, just north of the point where the Sous River empties into the sea, founded by the Portuguese around 1500, the city came under Moroccan control in 1526. In 1911, the arrival of a German gunboat (the Panther), officially to protect the local German community, triggered the Agadir Crisis between France and Germany that in 1913 caused France to establish a protectorate in Morrocco.
At 15 minutes to midnight on February 29, 1960, Agadir was almost totally destroyed by an earthquake that lasted 15 seconds, burying the old city and killing thousands, the death toll is estimated at 15,000. The earthquake destroyed the ancient Kasbah on the summit of Cap Ghir hill, which was built in 1540. On its front gate can still be read the following sentence in Dutch: “Fear God and honor thy King”.
Agadir today is a seaport (exporting cobalt, manganese and zinc) and seaside resort with a large sandy beach. Because of its large buildings, wide roads, modern hotels, and European-style cafe, some consider it not typically Moroccan. Agadir is famous for its sea foods and agriculture.