El Jadida [Mazagan], North Africa, Marocco
Civil architecture in the period of Portuguese presence essentially consisted of small residential buildings, in individual plots of land, with public areas and vegetable gardens, situated within the city blocks that defined the urban fabric. After 1769, several of these buildings were destroyed or subjected to major changes. Abandoned during the decades that followed the Portuguese retreat they were subjected to successive works of transformation and adaptation in the 19th and 20th centuries. Nowadays, the existing urban grid has few and unreliable traces that we can acknowledge as elements or typologies of Portuguese construction, such as some decorative elements attributable to the 17th or 18th century. We know, nonetheless, that great part of the walls and other structures that now compose these buildings are of Portuguese construction, having been transformed and appropriated throughout the years according to the needs and culture of the new residents.