The Mellah quarter was built in the 16th century under the rule of Saadian Sultan Moulay Abdallah, who gave a protected terri... More
The Mellah quarter was built in the 16th century under the rule of Saadian Sultan Moulay Abdallah, who gave a protected territory to the Jewish people who lived in Marrakech, many of whom had fled the Spanish Reconquista. Surrouded by a wall, the quarter prospered thanks to its trading activity. 15,000 inhabitants lived here in 1936. But almost all of Mellah's Jewish population fled from Morocco in the second half of the 20th century; now, just a few more than 200 Jews live in the quarter. It is now a popular and busy district notably known for its jewelry souk. Tinworkers' shops and regular auctions contribute to a lively atmosphere. The old covered spices souk shouldn't be missed. The architectural unity of the quarter, along with the old Jewish cemetery and the few still-functional synagogues serve as reminders of Mellah's history.