The spiritual power of this holy city attracts visitors from all over Morocco. I was one of them. On my road trip from Casablanca to Chefchaouen, I made sure I stop in Ouazzane even if it’s for just few hours. This little town may have little to offer but it is a great option to go off-the-beaten track!
Once you exit the large two-ways highway on the Aftlantic Coast, you get adventurous for a couple of hours on the regional tight roads of Morocco until you will see it hidden between mountains, olive trees and cereal fields. As I approached by car, the city gets brighter with its fern green colours on its cubic buildings. I ask someone for directions to get to Dar Dmana. And some things are different… the people! Clearly, they have an accent which is funny to hear for someone from Casablanca. They are also friendly but at the same time they seem quite firm.
Ouazzane is totally off the tourist trail so it would offer an authentic Northern Moroccan experience. But not only, it is a holy city for all Moroccans: Muslims and Jews. For its Muslim history, Moulay Abdellah founded in 1727 a zaouia which is considered to be a spiritual and religious centre known throughout the Muslim World, many Moroccan Saints have their memorials and graves that are venerated by so many people. For it’s Jewish heritage, Rabbi Amram Ben Diwan lived in the city where his burial site is considered to provide healing miracles to its visitors.
Ouazzane is a famous pilgrimage centre in the Moroccan culture and history. However, it is still off the tourist trail as it is not promoted as a tourist destination even though it has a strong potential.
I found its Old Town very pretty. Quite safe, clean and well organised. I found the history very interesting. It’s a place where Muslim and Jewish pilgrims get together again to share few times a year a common past of thousand years. It’s also cheap and as I said previously, people are friendly. Although, this is a first impression opinion as I stayed 2 hours before hitting the road towards Chefchaouen. So why don’t you travel yourself and tell me what’s going on? Personally, I would love to go there during a pilgrimage period!
If you are a traveller looking for something different, why don’t you stop in Ouazzane? Get a blessing from the Saints and keep travelling!