Initially referred to as Amegdoul, which means “the well-built” or “fortified place” in Berber, after which Mogador by the Portuguese and Spaniards, this lovely fishing city on the Atlantic Coast was lastly renamed Essaouira within the 18th century. The town is stuffed with attraction and has an enchanting historical past and structure which might be value discovering throughout a day journey from Marrakesh, positioned simply over 100 miles east of Essaouira.
The “retailers of the king”, from the ten most prestigious Jewish households in Morocco, knew in regards to the metropolis throughout Europe. These households loved the status that they obtained from the missions for the Sultan, who was entrusted with Western powers. They really held a lot of the commerce and financial system of the port, the latter offering 40% of all commerce on the Atlantic coast between Timbuktu and Europe. The traded items principally consisted of ostrich feathers, gold mud, salt, ivory, slaves, and many others.
Beneath the reign of Sultan Moulay Yazid, the Jewish group was comparatively spared from persecution and settled in a brand new Jewish quarter from 1807. In contrast to the previous Mellah or Jewish quarter, the brand new one was positioned contained in the medina as a way to defend the Jews from potential abuses and helps preserve a excessive stage of tradition and training.
Within the 19th century, town began its decline, nevertheless it remained a significant economical and army centre. Following the French invasion after 1844 and sacked town by surrounding tribes, the Jews needed to depart Essaouira to settle in Marrakech. Nonetheless, they finally returned later throughout tough financial circumstances.
When the Spanish attacked in 1860, the Jews took refuge once more within the province of Haza and their plight drew the eye of Sir Moses Montefiore, who obtained the grant of latest land to construct a second Mellah. At the moment, a powerful group organisation may meet the wants of a inhabitants from four,000 to as much as 14,000 folks. Whereas the Jewish quarter was represented by a Sheikh within the political and civil affairs, its non secular standing was supported by a courtroom of three rabbis.
The bills of the group got here from taxes on kosher meat, on imported merchandise, and from varied donations from worldwide sources. Many non secular faculties, a yeshiva, and several other English-French Jewish faculties have been based in Essaouira within the 1800s. Within the early 20th century, the Jewish inhabitants in Essaouira was nonetheless greater than the Muslim inhabitants, and concrete life was regulated by the Jewish calendar. Whereas in 1901 the Jewish group counted 19,000 folks, the quantity went down to five,000 firstly of the French Protectorate and continued to say no throughout the 1950s and 1960s Desert trips from Marrakech.
Among the many figures that formed the historical past of the Jewish Group of Essaouira we may point out Rabbi Abraham Coriat, Abrahm Ibn Attar Messod Knafo, Rabbi Haim Pinto and the Corcos household.At this time, there are few Jewish households dwelling in Essaouira, and the Group Council has undertaken to revive the Attias and Pinto synagogues. Led by Andre Azoulay, adviser to the king, town is experiencing a renaissance and is considered one of Morocco’s primary locations for cultural tourism.
One of the best ways to go to Essaouira is from considered one of Morocco’s main cities, well-connected by land and air. Essaouira is a favorite vacation spot on a day journey from Marrakesh, since it may be visited in at some point and it’s only a couple hours’ drive from the Ochre Metropolis