Like many areas of the red city of Marrakech, the Mouassine district has a history spanning hundreds of years. Previously called Houmat Abi Abidan, the name for this well-known part of the city came to be called Mouassine at some point in the 16th century after a large clan of Jewish settlers came to the area.
‘Mass’ meaning dagger and ‘ssine’ meaning two are words that originate from the Berber language, and they came to be the name of this famous district because the clan that made Mouassine their home were highly skilled craftsmen, with a particular skill for forging daggers.
After the clan established themselves, Mouassine became a thriving souk district, and a hugely significant half-way point for goods coming from the North of Morocco to the Sub-Saharan cities to the south.
The district of Mouassine remains charged with trade, commerce and activity to this very day, and the impact of centuries of activity in the area has meant that it has become a popular site for poets as well as craftsmen.
Today if you take a stroll through Mouassine, you’ll find a huge variety of stalls selling traditional Moroccan commodities alongside modern restaurant’s such as Café Arab and the Bougainville.
Mouassine, and many other famous districts of Marrakech are but a short stroll from any one of our luxury Hotel Riads, discover the magic of Marrakech for yourself today.
The Jewish community has a long history in Marrakech and Morocco at large, indeed the history of the community stretches back to antiquity under the Roman empire following the dissolution of the Jewish state in 70 AD with Jewish people arriving after the destruction of the Jewish state. The Jewish people received relatively kind treatment under the sultans due to their usage of the jiyza system whereby they were left alone as long as they paid their taxes. The community played a prominent role in Moroccan life until the formation of the state of Israel when large numbers left to emigrate to Israel. A very noticeable legacy has however been left by the community both physically and culturally, indeed although the Jewish quarter no longer contains any Jewish people it is still named as such, as an indicator of the areas legacy.
There is also a historic Jewish cemetery to be found in Marrakech, locally known as the Miara, which is an indicator of Jewish cultural heritage in the area. All of these things contribute to historical and cultural aspects of Marrakech that make it one of the most vibrant and interesting cities to visit in the world. A stay in one of our Riads puts you right in the heart of this in Marrakech’s historical Medina allowing you access to all the great culture and heritage Marrakech has to offer.