Demnate (in Berber language meaning ‘Fertile Soil’, from the plural forms of the words ‘Ddminte’ or ‘Tadminte’), is the second largest city, at an altitude of about 970 m above sea level, in the region of ‘Tadla- Azilal’. The town has approximately been founded in early 11th century. The rectangular ramparts are made of an unusual ‘ocher-color pisé’ (clay) and contains two monumental portals and a ‘kasbah’ which is built by ‘T’hami el-Glaoui’. The once-grand ‘Glaoui’ kasbah and mudbrick ramparts have more or less been left to crumble.
However, the Demnate’s fascinating interfaith heritage has survived. At the heart of town is a mellah (Jewish quarter). Each July, there is organized a Jewish moussem (festival) with a weeklong mystical event and offer miracle cures. The city also has two ‘zawiyas’ (Islamic religious shrines), making an annual ‘Hamdouchi’ moussem in September. Pilgrims visiting each zawiya dance to a different rhythm in an all-day music festival in the town centre before going their separate ways in three-hour parades to the zawiyas. Demnate is a modest market centre to which villagers from the neighbouring hills and plains bring multifarious produce, especially for the Sunday souk held outside the walls. Once famed for its ceramics artisans, Demnate still has some traditional ‘kilns’. Most of the inhabitants of the city lives from the agriculture industry.
Only during the French protectorate and after independence of Morocco in 1956, many start to work in crafts, trade, and transport. The city has no significant tourist sights. Two kilometre to the east, lies the ‘Imi-n-IFRI’ spring-lined waterfalls canyon. The government also built a dam to manage the water. The 100-year-old olive groves around the hillsides of Demnate produce Morocco’s best olive oil. ‘Almonds’ are another renowned local product.
Demnate is part of the tourism region ‘Atlas and Valleys‘ of Morocco.