Melilla: the meeting place of four religions
View of Melilla
One of the greatest attractions of the city of Melilla is that it links two continents: Europe and Africa. This makes it the perfect place to experience the atmosphere of cultural intermingling. Another highlight is certainly the “Route of the Temples”.
What exactly does this tour consist of? It is a tour of the most important temples, and a chance to discover in more detail how four religious communities– Christians, Muslims, Jews, and Hindus– live harmoniously together in this small space. The tour will take you to several symbolic places of worship. The tour takes place on Sunday, leaving Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for arranged groups. One of the most important churches in the Christian area is the church of the Purísima Concepción, the oldest in Melilla and home to a carving of Cristo de la Vera Cruz, which the first Spaniards brought to the city. Outstanding Muslim temples include the Zaouia Alaouia mosque. In the Jewish area you'll be able to visit the Or Zoruah (Holy Light) synagogue, one of the most spectacular of the ten synagogues existing in Melilla. And finally in the Hindu temple you'll see a lovely altar where images of holy figures and religious teachers are venerated.
And best of all is the fact that all these buildings are completely “living”, and it is the members of the religious communities themselves who explain their traditions. A totally unique multicultural experience.
It is also exciting to be able to walk through the streets and come across typical Berber dress and Arab jellabahs, and to see how the Christian Easter Week, Muslim Ramadan, Jewish Hanukkah and Hindu Diwali are all celebrated in harmony.
Things to remember: you can reserve this tour at the tourist office located in the Plaza de España square by giving your name and presenting an identity document. To take the tour there must be a minimum of 6 people registered.