12 chambres confotables de 25m²
12 chambres confotables de 25m²
4 large suites of 50m²
8 luxurious rooms of 35m²
If I were told the tale of Dar L’Oussia
Some time ago, during the middle of the last century, France was recovering from hard fighting that had shaken the country to its core. It was getting back on its feet, turning over a new leaf and rebuilding itself.
Some were enticed by the call of the sea, adventure and the beyond… People like my parents. They came to settle here, in Mogador. In 1946, under a contract with Société Fougerolles (Grands Travaux de Versailles) (Major Works of Versailles), my father participated in constructing the Bin el Ouidane dam.
In 1949… he fell in love with Mogador. Post-haste, he purchased the home located near the port, on Rue de Belgique (Belgium Street), which housed the eponymous consulate’s quarters.Our father purchased “L.U.C.I.A.” home from Mr Honora. At the time, “Dar L’Oussia,” as our old home is called today, consisted of just two floors. Previously, the ground floor acted as a warehouse: grain for import-export was stored there, as well as spices…
The building occupying two-thirds of the street was called “L.U.C.IA.,” an acronym for L’Union Commerciale Indochinoise et Africaine (Indochina and African Commercial Union). It bears mentioning that Mogador was one of the most important ports in Morocco at the time.
In 1949, our family was already a crowd. I, Yves Pélissier, the youngest in the family, had yet to be born… My arrival was scheduled for 1952. When I came to this world, I already had two brothers and two sisters… Quite a tribe!
My father had his office on the first floor, which I have hardly modified. Next, there was the kitchen and the living room. Where the Hammam is located today, my brothers and sisters had their bedrooms. Me myself, I opened my eyes for the very first time one cold morning on January 25, in Room 16, which was where my parents slept. Life followed its course…In 1953, my father decided to install a fireplace. It was quite the event! We were so warm we had to leave the room…even though it was December 25!
The next year led to a departure…our departure from Essaouira. My father left his company to take a position in Agadir at Défense des Végétaux (D.V.) (Plant Health) where he participated in controlling locust plagues!
He remained at this post in Agadir for two years.
The entire family returned to France in July of 1955. My father assumed his position as Manager of S.M.A.C. (Société des Mines et Asphalte du Centre) (Centre Mining and Asphalt Company) in Bordeaux… A new life was beginning! “L.U.C.I.A.” was left abandoned for several years… It wasn’t until the 1960s that teachers abroad occupied the home, Mr and Mrs Chavot. They left a mark on the people, teaching several different Essaouiran students, who still remember them… When they had to leave Essaouira (in 1977), the house was once again abandoned…then squatted! After several years of legal procedures, finally, in April 1995, we regained possession of “L.U.C.I.A.”!
I came in 1996 with my nephew, Bruno, and we began refurbishment work. It took me all this time, forty years, to go back to my roots, to our roots…In 1997, after my father passed away, I inherited the house. I planned out a project to renovate the building and started work. With my friend Didier, we outlined the project’s beginnings. But making it a reality was easier said than done! It was truly a Herculean effort…
With very limited resources, work began August 7, 2000, on my father’s birthday. Renovations finally ended in December 2004! Four years of hard work, blood, sweat and tears. But ironclad faith kept me steadfast in my resolve throughout.
January 1, 2005, a New Year’s celebration took place at “Dar L’Oussia,” with a select, cosmopolitan group of people including a diverse blend of nationalities: French, Spanish, Moroccan, Catalan, Senegalese and Japanese… Ten hotel rooms were already available.
For Dar L’Oussia, it was a new beginning. I christened the hotel with its name in memory of L.U.C.I.A…. from past times… My dream had become reality!
Mr Honora, from whom my father purchased the L.U.C.I.A. building, came during the renovation work. He saw the completed work, sat on a chair and wept… I also had the pleasure of welcoming his daughter, who came to the hotel in 2007 to celebrate her birthday: she was born there, too! What else might I add to this lovely tale…
My friend Nicole, who acts as secretary, told me this: “Your dream succeeded because, as youngest of your brothers and sisters, born at L.U.C.I.A., you carried on the torch your father gave you with the inheritance… He loved Mogador, he loved this home and you have brought it back to life. This was your entire family’s adopted land. Now that your ‘masterpiece’ has been completed, with the care of journeymen of yore, thanks to you, your family and reconnect with its past. You all carry Mogador in your heart, and Dar L’Oussia is your ” childhood home” …
It’s such a beautiful tale, don’t you think ?
Statements taken by Nicole Le Garrec, March 2011
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