Morocco - Fez

Overview of Fez

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Fèz is a maze of stone, marble and plaster surrounded by orchards. An aura of 1001 nights lingers here, but as the spiritual centre of Morocco, the old town lives in the shadow of the minarets, sprawling outwards from the mosque like a spider web of alleys, houses and shops. From their workshops in back alleys potters, charcoal burners, goldsmiths and weavers still practice their ancient trades for busy shops and stores in the crowded streets. Well over 1000 years old, the Jewish quarter, or mellah, has long had a reputation for producing some of the finest ironwork in the country, whilst in the suburb of the leather tanners ancient methods and facilities are still used to treat and dye hides.

There is always something to see in this lively and colourful city that is full of contrast. Originally founded in the 8th century, the city’s importance goes back many centuries, when it was the principal city linking the Mediterranean with the Sahara.

Things To See

Fez Fabric Dying

Fez el Bali
The old part of the city, with its donkeys, taxis, traffic jams, smells, etc. Here, there is a mini neighbourhood for every craft, but the most interesting and colourful is the 'Tanners Souk', although the smell can be distracting. It does make you think of the 'worst job in the world'...

Bab Bonjeloud
A beautiful gate that offers the best entrance into the medina. Glazed tiles decorate the upper part to create a stunning effect

Bou Inania Medeza
This outstanding 14th century monument contains a religious school that is separated from a prayer room by a stream of water channeled in to the marble paving of the courtyard.

Dar Batha Museum
Dar Batha is a palace which these days functions as a museum of Moroccan art. Among its collection are unusual items such as ancient keys, locks, doors and carpets...

Karaouine Mosque
Long the biggest religious structure in Morocco, it was founded in the 9th century in the heart of the medina. 14 doors in the walls enable the 20,000 faithful who can pray here to enter and exit without ‘traffic jams’.

Fez Tea

Moulay Idris Azouia
The tomb of Moulay Idris is a highly revered shrine. At the entrance, women pass offerings through a hatch, which is also as close as a non-Muslim can get.

Neutom
The area outside the medina, which dates from the 13th century.

Ville Nouvelle
This district of broad avenues, shops and pavement cafés recalls its origins during the period of French colonial rule.

Meknes
Least famous of the imperial cities. Capital for the Alaouika Sultan Moula Ismail and therefore full of his grandiose projects.

Bab Manson
City walls stretch for 25 km, Lots of interesting gates. Restaurant in Bob Manson named after architect, a Christian slave converted to Islam.

Mausoleum
In Monlay Ismail´s major construction program he did not forget his own magnificent mausoleum. Non-Muslims are permitted to peer into but not set foot in.

Dar Jamai
Media highlight. Dar Jamai is a 19th century palace now serving as a museum.

Ba Inania Medersi
4th century religious college around tiled courtyard with marble fountain.

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