The Town of Ouezzane, Morocco

Ouezzane is a historically significant city has a lot to offer for the discerning traveler. The picturesque town was known as the spiritual capital of the country. Let us take a look at what makes this city an important destination for many.

The city of Ouezzane lies to the north of Fez with an approximate population of 57,972. It is a sprawling town at the southern border of the Rif Mountains. It is also known as “Dar Dmana”. It is considered as a holy city by the Jews of Morocco as well the Islamic world. It is a spiritual capital as it is home to the big poles of Sufism.

Religious importance

Ouezzane is considered by many Jews of Morocco as a holy and undertake pilgrimage to worship the tomb of the Marabouts (Moroccan saints). They particularly visit it to worship the marabout moul Anrha (which is the local name for Rabbi Imran Ben Diwan) who lived in the city in the 18th century.

His burial site is supposed to be associated with a number of miracles. The southern half of the town forms the Jewish area with a strong Andalusian feel. You would find tiled extravagant houses with balconies extremely attractive. The famous Rabbi and the Jews are said to be buried at a cemetery outside town in an areas called as Azjem.

The Berbers also considered the town as holiest place. For the Muslims too this place is of high importance. The descendants of Moulay Idriss formed a group called as Taibia in 1700s and ruled the town. Moulay Brahim became its head holy man or Shreef. The Shreef is considered the holiest after the king and highly respected.

He lives outside the city center in a sanctuary within beautifully kept gardens. If there are any civil cases or questions that need the religious mediation, he is considered the authority and decision maker.

Other things of importance

Ouezzane is considered an important market place mainly for the textiles like djelleba and carpets. It is also popular for olive oil and raisins. You can also find good quality wool that is processed around the Rif mountains.

You can buy woolen rugs and even watch its production process. Even wandering around the suugs of Ouezzane can be fund with elaborate merchandise on display. The mosque of Moulay Adbullah Sharif is a very nicely decorated mosque that you can see while exploring the town.

It is closed to non-Muslims but the gates by themselves are very attractive and artistically painted in a shade between orange and yellow. You can find a few restaurants here as well as grill cafés.

It’s definitely worth visiting the little town of Ouezzane to get a glimpse of a city that is considered a holy place by Jews and Muslims alike.