International Photography Awards - IPA 2012
3rd place in Architecture - Historic category
PX3 Prix De La Photographie Paris 2012
A series of 5 images "Portuguese Cistern - El Jadida"
Bronze Medal in the category Book Proposal / Other
Portuguese Cistern was built in 1514. This former warehouse (possibly an armory) was converted into a cistern in the 16th century. The underground chamber, measuring 34 meters by 34 meters, was constructed with five rows of five stone pillars. The cistern is famous especially for the thin layer of water that covers the floor, and which creates fine and exciting reflections from the little light there is and the spartan shapes of the columns and the roof. Its visual qualities are such that several movies have been filmed within the cavernous space, of which Orson Welles' Othello (1952 film) is the best known internationally.
The Portuguese Fortified City of Mazagan was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004, on the basis of its status as an "outstanding example of the interchange of influences between European and Moroccan cultures" and as an "early example of the realisation of the Renaissance ideals integrated with Portuguese construction technology".
El Jadida (Berber: ⵎⴰⵣⵖⴰⵏ Mazghan, Arabic:الجديدة "new") is a port city on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, in the province of El Jadida. It has a population of 144,440. From the sea, El Jadida's old city; has a very "un-Moorish" appearance; it has massive Portuguese walls of hewn stone. El Jadida, previously known as Mazagan (Portuguese: Mazag„o), was seized in 1502 by the Portuguese, and they controlled this city until 1769, when they abandoned Mazag„o. Its inhabitants were evacuated to Brazil, where they founded new settlement Nova Mazag„o (now in AmapŠ). El Jadida was then taken over by Sultan Mohammed ben Abdallah.
According to UNESCO, the most important buildings from the Portuguese period are the cistern, and the Manueline Church of the Assumption. The design of the Fortress of Mazagan is a response to the development of modern artillery in the Renaissance. The star form of the fortress measures c 250m by 300m. The slightly inclined, massive walls are c 8m high on average, with a thickness of 10m, enclosing a patrolling peripheral walkway 2m wide. At the present time the fortification has four bastions: the Angel Bastion in the east, St Sebastian in the north, St Antoine in the west, and the Holy Ghost Bastion in the south. The fifth, the Governorís Bastion at the main entrance, is in ruins, having been destroyed by the Portuguese in 1769. Numerous colonial-era Portuguese cannons are still positioned on top of the bastions.