Fez Guide, this oldest imperial city in Morocco with its medina as a UNESCO World Heritage site , it is a northeastern Moroccan city around 530 Km far from Marrakech, it is the spirituel capital of Morocco and one of the most authentic cities in Morocco
History of Fez
The city was founded in 789 by IdrissI, Sultan of the first muslim dynastie the Idrissids on the right bank of Wadi Fez ,the current location of the Andalous district. In the 9th century the city welcomed arab refugees expelled from Córdoba and settled on the east bank, and a few years later, families who had left Kairouan (Qayrawan) in modern-day Tunisia settled on the west side. In this same period al quaraouiyine university was built one of the largest and oldest in the world.
By the 11th century the city had a universal population of more than 500,000 inhabitants, including berbers, jews, moors, turks and christians. in 1070 The Almoravids united the two separate settlements in a one and gained a reputation for intellectual influence, as a crossroads of culture between Spain and Senega city
in 1269 Fez became the new capital of the merenids dynastie At that time, a new city, Fez el Jadid, is created on the surrounding heights to accommodate the Caliph, his court and his army, and many great buildings and monuments were built with a unique arab and andalusian style.and the city becomes again a double town,
In 1548 the Saadians captured the old medina, Marrakesh was made into the new capital. But,Fez Medina became the capital again with the rise of the Ottoman Empire, ruled by under Suleyman.
In the eighteenth century, thanks to the leaders of the old Qaraouiyne University, seat of a real political force. Competed by the nascent economic activity of Casablanca, Fez maintains its religious, intellectual and commercial influence.
In 1912, French impose the Protectorate of Morocco. The Ville Nouvelle (New Town) was established with its wide avenues and residential areas. It definitely loses its position as administrative and economic capital in favor of Rabat and Casablanca, but without giving up its status as the spiritual capital of the country.
Places to visit in Fez Guide
the al-Attarine Madrasa was built in the 14th century in the heart of the medina, “the madrassa” means (religious schools) which were used primarily for the promotion of Sunni teachings during the reign of the Marinid dynasty. Al-Attarine Madrasa took its name from the Souk al-Attarine, the spice and perfume market.
Bou Inania Medersa
Built between 1350 and 1358, by the sultan Merenid Abou Inan , a splendid masterpiece and one of the most beautiful Merenid monuments.Unlike other medresas, Bou Inania functioned as both an educational college and a mosque, (For this reason, it’s closed to visitors during prayer times.)
Also known as “The Blue Gate of Fes.” One of the most important places to visit when you are in Fez, this famous medina entrance is a recent monument built in 1913, the original gate was founded in the 12th century deliberately on a slant to block ram herds from entering.
A visit to Fez is incomplete without experiencing the sights and smells of a tannery, One of the most iconic spots in the city and best-known is Chouara tannery Located on the eastern edge of the medina; Fes el-Bali, At The tanneries all is done manually without the need for modern machinery, transforming the hides of cows, sheep, goats and camels, into high quality leather products such as bags, coats, shoes, and slippers.
al-Qarawiyyin Mosque & University
The al-Qarawiyyin mosque, a religious school / college was founded in 859 by Fatima al-Fihri, a member of an elite family who emigrated from the Tunisian city of Kairouan. It is now the spiritual heart of fez and one of the oldest universities in the world. Admire the institution’s simple yet beautiful design, decorated with Andalusian art bordered with Kufic calligraphy.
Royal Palace of Fez
The famous seven golden doors of the royal palace of fescan only leave you imagining how beautiful it is from inside unfortunately, is not open to the public, but the outside is still worth a visit. founded in the 1960s, in in the heart of Fes El Jadid, district adjacent to the Old City.
Aben Danan Synagogue
The building was built in the 17th century named after Aben Danan, a member of a prestigious family. It is One of the oldest and most important synagogues in North Africa and one of the finest buildings in the Jewish culture and occupies a special place in Moroccan Judaism. the synagogue was renovated in 1999, is still used on high holy days.
built in 1582 at the sultan of Saadian Sultan Ahmed El Mansour Eddahbi. it’s a long way from the medina (there’s no direct walking path) It is perfect for a commanding view across the Medina with the best panorama of the city.