The salted walls of Jewish Morocco

The name El Mellah is used to indicate the walled districts that the Jewish population inhabited in the imperial cities and some rural areas of Morocco. The Marrakech Mella was adjoined to the palace of Bahia in the south during the Saadien dynasty as further protection for its valued inhabitants who made an important contribution to the local economy.

The present day walled Mella is a Muslim district inhabited by some of the poorest inhabitants of Marrakech with the vast majority of Jews having left for Israel during the 60s; leaving no more than about 200 or so of the original Marrakech Jewish community.

The Marrakshi Mellah however, as with other Moroccan cities, remains an area seeped in history, culture and distinct characters: the Jewish synagogue; the cemetery yard; the big spice stores; the jeweler’s shops, reflecting the favored trade of the Jewish people, and the numerous balconies which distinguish the area since traditional Muslim Riads rarely have external windows.

A short distance from this area of such deep and recent history lies the beautiful surroundings of traditional riad Dar Habiba. Located parallel to an elegantly local market street 5 minutes from Jemma El Fna Square, make your stay special here, in this beautifully interesting, slightly Jewish, city.

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