Mellah of Fez

Fès, Morocco

Mellah of Fez

The Mellah of Fez (Arabic: ملاح‎) is the historic Jewish quarter (Mellah) of Fez, Morocco. It is located in Fes el-Jdid, the part of Fez which contains the Royal Palace (Dar al-Makhzen), and is believed to date from the mid-15th century. While the district is no longer home to any significant Jewish population, it still contains a number of monuments and landmarks from the Jewish community's historical heritage in the city.

Fez had long hosted the largest and one of the oldest Jewish communities in Morocco, present since the city's foundation by the Idrisids (in the late 8th or early 9th century). They lived in many parts of the city alongside the Muslim population, as evidenced by the fact that Jewish houses were purchased and demolished for the Almoravid expansion of the al-Qarawiyyin Mosque (located at the center of the city), and by the claims of Maimonides' residence in what later became the Dar al-Magana (in the western part of the city). Nonetheless, since the time of Idris II (early 9th century) the Jewish community was more or less concentrated in the neighbourhood known as Foundouk el-Yihoudi ("hotel/warehouse of the Jew") near Bab Guissa in the northeast of the city. The city's original Jewish cemetery was also located near here, just outside the gate of Bab Guissa.

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