09 Sep Jewish town in Marrakech. second part
Jewish town of Marrakech. Second Part
In the forecourt of the neighborhood you are one of the entrances to the Mellah or Jewish quarter, next is the souk of jewelers with about forty shops.
Right in front is “the kisaria” or covered market, the oldest in the district, the souk of spices . Usually the market have better prices because it is more geared to local clientele.
Walking between their positions is an experience full of colors and scents of saffron, cumin, coriander, nuts, perfumes, soaps …
It is also well known area of tissues with beads all kinds and accessories for sewing.
A little history
Fez was the first officially Moroccan city where there was a Jewish town.
Jews expelled from Spain arrived persecuted by the Inquisition. Having been welcomed and their protection, had to pay heavy taxes to the Sultan.
It is said that the land where he had previously been installed saline (Arabic al-Mallah) and hence led to the mellah word began to be used in Morocco to appoint the Jewish towns.
The Jews were not allowed to own land or homes outside the Mellah and were prohibited from riding among other things. Some more educated, Jews came to work real advisers, Moulay Abdallah, the Saadian dynasty, which had moved the imperial capital to Marrakech and allowed the Jews to be installed in the city in 1558.
To avoid conflicts with the Muslim population , he stood beside the kasbah and the Royal Palace. It was walled and had two doors guarded by soldiers who closed every night, so the Jews had within their own market Mellah, synagogue and a cemetery.
The Jewish population of Marrakech reached 20,000 people. Today only about three hundred Jews remain in Marrakech. .
Most Jews left Morocco after the constitution of the state of Israel in the fifties.
The Miâara, the Jewish cemetery is a succession of rectangular mounds of different glued to the walls of the medina sizes. two synagogues still work in Marrakech, Negidim and Alzama.
It is not easy to find between the alleys of the Mellah but worth venturing to discover.
The Bahia Palace
The Bahia Palace is one of the most important architectural works of Marrakech.
It was built in the late nineteenth century after 10 years of work.
In the late nineteenth century it was in the hands of Abu Bou Ahmed, a black slave who became vizier. This helped lead to the palace to its best.
In the 8 hectares that has the palace 150 rooms facing several courtyards and gardens are located.
Open from 9 to 14h