These walls were built in 1505 by the Portugese after the occupied the city. The city used to be double the current enclosure. the Portugese who had a very big over seas Empire where undermaned and opted to reduce the city size when the re-built the walls, to make it easier to defend.
The walls have 3 Gaits, Bab Al Baher (Sea gait), bab Al Masjid (The Mosque Gait) and bab Al Homor. The city walls had 13 Tower, one of them is is the Ramp next to Sidi Ahmed Ben Mansoor. The Ramp and tower extend for 30 meters in to the ocean and give a nice view of the city
He was on of the leader of resistance against the portugese occupation of the city. He Died and was berried in this spot. The tomb and the Kobba (dom) was built at a later date. it is located on the Southern end of the kasbah.
Once you enter to the site. you'll see a court yard that has coloured floors. these are are also graves for the mujahedeen who died also with sidi Ahmed Ben manssor. Inside the Kobba there is the garve and that is about it.
The Medina is an easy place for a stroll and you can kill a morning or afternoon having a wander around. While you're walking about, you'll see some terrific murals all over the place. I felt these were actually rather good quality and it was quite fun turning another corner and seeing something completely different to the last, great flashes of colour on the whitewashed streets.
The murals are painted each year during the town's International Cultural Festival. Some of them you can read who painted it, others are more anonymous. I was really impressed by the variety and imagination of these and it added a nice touch to the Medina. So you get to take in a bit of art, all for free. While I was in Asilah, the international arts centre and gallery were closed, so this was pretty much the only 'cultural activity' that was available.
I liked this one in particular and so took a few photos from different angles. It's called 'The Tree of Life' and the little people on the wall also continue up electricity and phone lines, not just painted on the walls.
As one walks through the wide entrance into the Old Town one encounters traffic-free uncluttered streets of varying widths. One feels immediately relaxed. The citizens go about their work almost oblivious of the tourist invaders. When not busy, they appear to be loitering. As we departed, in the new town, we passed a middle-school where the young girls were chatting, all of them dressed in a modern school uniform, while in the distance some young boys were sheepishly ogling.
As a coastal town, Asilah has a number of picturesque water views from the town walls along the coastline both north and south. The best spots are from the promontory at the south end of the coastal wall and nearby openings out toward the rocks. North of the walls, the new town grows, but the water's edge is a dry or marshy region with a channel where camel rides are offered and boats dock or dry-dock. At the promontory I saw 2 men in a small rubber boat apparently trying to stun schooling fish with a stone tied to a rope. (Something different). They did not pull any out while I was watching.
The most noteworthy structural elements of Asilah are its defensive walls with its Portuguese keep-like Tower, and the set of Arab built merlons on the walls. There are some narrow streets, occasional tile and grillework and the octagonal minaret of the main mosque where in an outside wall there is a resting niche (where you can take off your shoes?)
As one walks the town and peers into doorways and over the fields, one sees various commercial activities of the town, such as rug selling, baking, decorative handicrafts and pottery work,heavy animal cart transport and camel rides for tourists (there were none around).
Why do they do it? How many painters are there? The styles are varied and their derivations are many, It is difficult to asses their true originality; almost none are naive. Others at VT have recorded this without explanation. I could not get our guide to give an answer, only a shrug; he implied that they were hired by the owners. We did not see anyone selling artwork nor was it shown in the few shops. On our walk we also saw an enclosed wooden balcony similar to the iron ones in Ronda , a very Moorish reminder of sequestered women, although the school girls seen later as we left town did not look that way.
Each old Moroccan town sonsists of the two parts: the medina that is old Arab town with narrow streets, surrounded byn city walls and modern, new town with broad streets and avenues called from French Ville Nuoveau. Waking arounf this modern (in Moroccan way) part of the city, I easily noticed that Asilah is cleaner and richer city than others in Morocco. Generally, on many areas, the standard of life looks higher in Asilah than in other parts of Morocco.
TThe ramparts of Asilah were built by Portogueses in 15th century and ater the renovation they look impressive. I surely took a walk along them and I saw white houses on the one side and the Atlantic Ocean down the cliff on the other. It was quite looong but very nice walking tour.
Walking around the medina of Asilah, finally I reached the Atlantic Ocean. I saw sinple but beautiful houses standing on a gigh vliff of the Atlantic Ocean. I paid attention to typical, painted in green or rarely in blue, doors and gates. At first these houses reminded me some towns or villages in Greece or in southern Spain and Portugal.
Walking around Asilah I was suprised to see white houses' walls with colorful, amazing and very unique wall paintings. Asilah is famous of artists who paint on walls. These paintings are unique in style and look quite different than any graffiti I saw till now.
Like usual in Morocco, the main and most impressive msque in Asilah is called the Ground Mosque. I am not a Muslim, so I was not allowed to enter the Grand Mosque. I paid attention to its white tower. It's a minaret - a tower from which a man (or loudspeakers nowadays) calls Muslims to pray.
El Kamra tower was located in Place Abdellah and this tall tower was good orientation point for me. It was square tower (like Moroccan minarets) with 4 turrets on its top corners built by Pourtugeuses. Hmm... I would like to go to the top of a tower but it was closed to the public.
I passed through the huge gate in the external city walls and entered the medina full of quite pretty, simple white houses which had to remind me Greece. I was walking around maybe two hours. And finally I passed through the gate in internal city walls to enter the Ville Nouveau (New City in French).