Essaouira is a city in the western part of Morocco, which is located on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. The city is known as the "windy city of Africa" because it is windy for most of the year. Archaeological excavations show that the city has been inhabited since prehistoric times. In the past, Essaouira was surrounded by ramparts that still cover part of the city today. The old town (medina) was included in the UNESCO cultural heritage in 2001. Today's Essaouira was founded by Sultan Sidi Muhammad in 1765 as a rival port to Agadir. The city has a population of about 78 thousand people.