The Captain’s House

The Captain’s House

Azemmour [Azamor], North Africa, Marocco

Equipment and Infrastructures

The Captain’s House was at the centre of the castle/town, at its highest point. After construction was requested to the king, the plan must have been prepared by the Arruda brothers who were very active in Azemmour at the beginning of 1514. Dividing their time between these works and those of El Jadida, the master builders used the standard manueline style in the design of the houses. The building occupied the highest point within the castle and was a L-shaped with the round Bastion of Saint Christopher in its angle. A reconstruction of the ground floor has become impossible due to later Islamic changes which converted it into a place of worship as well as making it into a somewhat gloomy blind alley. It must have functioned as storerooms and support, perhaps even as a barn, and extended into a row of houses along the wall, as attested by the few surviving traces of wall supports and foundations. As for the first floor (the main floor), which had access from a grand external staircase, it featured a succession of chambers on the two arms of the “L”, with bays in inverted and poli-lobate arches. This floor also connected with the interior of the bastion and the outer walk of the castle. The west wing of the captain’s house had a more public status, not only because it boasted a symbolic façade facing the exterior of the castle, but also because it was where the ornate window from which royal decisions to the garrison and to residents gathered in the courtyard were communicated.

Jorge Correia