Culture and History
The oldest mention of Agadir was in 1325, on a Greek map that told of a village of Berber fishermen near the Moroccan coast. In 1505, the Portuguese established themselves in Agadir and constructed trading posts and a fort to consolidate their presence. The Portuguese traded with the Berber for sugar, copper and animal skins, in return, the Berber fisherman bought weaponry from the European traders. With a rising interest of the Portuguese in the riches of Brazil and India, the European presence slowly began to diminish entirely. In 1737, the town was completely destroyed by an earthquake. Later in 1746, the Dutch became interested in Agadir for its important maritime location, at the mouth of the Mediterranean Sea and on the Atlantic Ocean. With the permission of the sultan, they set up a trading post in Agadir, and undoubted helped in the reconstruction of the city. The Saadian Sultans brought wealth to the port and the city flourished for a century in their role as a place for business between Berber tribes, the Moroccan nobility and the European traders. The town went into a deep decline in 1825 after the incumbent Sultan of that time went to war with neighbouring tribes and business was driven away by the unrest. Agadir was regarded as a ghost town.
In 1911, events took place in Agadir, which snowballed into what was later known as the formation of the French protectorate of Morocco. The Sultan sent expeditions to the south of the country to establish his control over the Souss tribes. A few German companies trading in the south were under threat of a reaction from the Souss tribes and called on the German government to step in for help. The German government sent a battleship into the bay of Agadir called the SMS Panther which was later accompanied by the German cruiser ship Berlin. This agitated the rest of the European colonial powers also in a trade with the Moroccan state, and France and Great Britain expressed a strong response. Agadir was in the threat of War, but after tough negotiations, the French assumed power and were given a free hand to establish a protectorate in Morocco by given up a few African colonies to the Germans. The French reconstructed the city after many years to neglect and a stronger port was built in place of a decaying wharf to facilitate the French in trade and military presence. In 1930, a modern city began to take form, the city began to boost in mining, fishing, tourism and agriculture with the addition of another port. The city hosted the Agadir and later the Moroccan Grand-Prix in 1950 and 1956. In the February of 1960, Agadir was struck with a devastating earthquake that made the government rebuild the new city of Agadir city 5 kilometres to the south. With the renewed infrastructure Agadir has been growing, in population, business and trade ever since.