Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery in Fez El Jdid
Image by David Clapp / Getty Images
Image by David Clapp / Getty Images

This area of thousands of blindingly white tombs, all freshly painted in 2019, was established in 1883. You'll find the tombs of a few notables, such as the 19th-century martyr Solica, venerated by Jews and Muslims alike, and assorted rabbis, though some have been reinterred in Israel. Entrance is on the northwest corner.

The blue-painted tomb belongs to Solica, also known as Sol Hachuel and Lalla Suleika, born in Tangier in 1817. The local governor is said to have offered her great wealth to convert, so that her beauty would be a credit to the Muslims – and then tortured her when she refused. She was transferred to Fez, where she was beheaded in 1834, at age 17. For her steadfastness, she is also venerated by Moroccan Muslim women. A black-and-white tomb with a large fireplace for burning candles (the Sephardic cemetery ritual) belongs to Rabbi Yehuda Ben Attar (1655–1733), who, the story goes, was imprisoned by the sultan in order to raise ransom money; the Jewish community had already been taxed to poverty, though, and the rabbi was thrown to the lions. When he began to pray, the lions sat quietly in a row, as if they were his students. The apparent miracle earned him his freedom and the sultan's apology. Longtime caretaker Edmond Gabay maintains a museum (borderline junk shop) in the old Em Habbanim school on the northeast edge; ask around for him if you'd like to see inside.