La Médina d’Agadir
In the beginning…
In every city in the Kingdom, the ancient medinas are the guardians of the history of Moroccan civilisation.
Deprived of its old town by the earthquake of 1960, Agadir touched the heart of Beato Salvatore, known as Coco Polizzi, who, driven by a burning desire, began work on this pharaonic project in 1992. It’s a veritable miniature medina built using traditional methods inspired by ancestral constructions, using materials sourced mainly from the region (Agadir white stone, Argana red stone, Anzi green slate, Taliouine ochre earth, eucalyptus and laurel wood, etc.).
This architectural masterpiece, inspired by arab, amazigh, andalusian, greek and roman influences, is a magnificent testimony to the region’s craftsmanship.
Winding through narrow streets and magnificent arcaded galleries, all the works in the medina demonstrate the skill of master craftsmen “Les Maâlems”, under the artistic and technical direction of Coco Polizzi: passageways, Amazigh doors in sculpted wood, wrought-iron scrolls, moucharabieh, engraved stone, Roman mosaics, coloured stained-glass windows, Amazigh mosaic carpets, and more.
La Médina d’Agadir has an intrinsic role to play in safeguarding the Amazigh cultural and architectural heritage and passing on ancestral know-how.
Beato Salvatore Polizzi (19/09/1941- 21/04/2021)
Born in Rabat on september 19th, 1941, Coco Polizzi, whose real name is Béato Salvatore Polizzi, came from a family of Sicilian builders who had arrived in the capital of Morocco in 1906, just before the french protectorate. His father became a building contractor, and Coco continued his education in a normal way.
He developed his passion for architecture and honed his skills alongside his father and older brother from a young age. At the age of 14, he joined the “Beaux-Arts” school with the ambition to become an “architect-builder”, a goal he would later achieve.
Considered one of the greatest master craftsmen in Morocco, he dedicated his life to building and decorating hotels, luxury villas, apartments, restaurants, and many other buildings around the world.
After his father’s death, Coco decided to move with his wife and his daughters to Agadir in 1970. He then took part in numerous public and private construction projects. Moreover, he explored the rural area of the region Agadir-Souss Massa and discovered the fabulous architectural treasures and the richness of its cultural wealth that inspired him in his several creations.
Despite the successful challenge of the great project to rebuild the city of Agadir, launched by the King Mohamed V, may god have him in his mercy, after the devastating earthquake of 1960, Coco hopes one day to make his contribution by offering a medina to the capital of Souss.
His love for his country and his passion for craftsmanship and architecture, led Coco to achieve his great project of building a medina for Agadir in 1992 relying on the skillful hands of moroccans teams of masons, stonecutters, carpenters, blacksmiths, and mosaic artists.
A few years later, a masterpiece emerged from the own imagination and knowledge of this man, whose motto was ” Share your experiences and give everything before leaving”.
He passed away on april 21th, 2021, and was buried in his hometown, Rabat.
My only dream is to give away everything I know before I go.
We shouldn’t die with secrets. I think that’s the only sin in life.
La Médina d’Agadir:
Hectares of alleyways, carved porches and forest.
Years of construction using ancestral techniques.
Artisans from different disciplines who took part in its construction.
Centuries of Moroccan history and architectural heritage.
An invitation to travel
Discover La Médina d’Agadir in details.