The tight streets of the Mellah – traditionally the Jewish neighbourhood of Marrakech – are an atmospheric corner of the red city. It is here where once can find the 17th Century Miaara Jewish Cemetery.
Set east of the El Badi Palace and South of the Bahia Palace in the heart of the Mellah, tucked away behind a tall unremarkable wall, the Cemetery exists as a space of near-silent tranquillity. The Cemetery is not on the standard tourist trail and is often empty, save for a dog or two lazing peacefully in the shade. Set in stark contrast to the bustle of the Medina, the cemetery feels a like a remnant of a lost civilisation.
Although it is acceptable to wonder among the weather-worn tombstones and shrines, it is important to be respectful and remember that this is a religious place. Two friendly brothers act as caretakers to the ancient Jewish Cemetery and they will be more than happy to show you around and tell you about Jewish life in Marrakech.
Ultimately, although it is far from a tourist hotspot, the Miaara Jewish Cemetery is an interesting space of cultural significance, holding alternative, even untold stories of Marrakech’s rich and varied history.