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FEZ is an imperial city that has stood in the north of morocco for a thousand year. Founded by Idriss I in 789, it was the capital of modern Morocco until the late 19th century. A vibrant metropolis that has held within its dusty walls the UNESCO world heritage old town. With the high walled streets, the elaborate architecture of the historic medina, the ornate carving, mosaics and the daily routine of a population bound to an old fashioned lifestyle, it feels as time has stopped in the spiritual heart of Morocco.
Places to visit
Fez is a nice mix of modern and old fashioned, you’ll find in down town New Fez really good restaurants that serve Moroccan traditional food, well among many international foods. There are coffee places, nice rooftop lounges with a great view on the lights of the Medina at night.
In this city of contrasts you will find modern shopping malls, luxurious hotels, but you’ll also find old-fashioned parks such as “Jnane Sbile”: a little bit of heaven guarded by walls inside the dynamic old medina, it’s a quiet little place with a pond at the center of it and it is known to be where the lovers meet …
If you’re ever in town in June, Fez holds the annual festival of world sacred music, with its Sufi chanters, judeo-arabic poets, African-American jazz saxophonists and international headliners. It is an exquisitely eclectic melting pot.
With old Moroccan castles, “Madarasa” or Universities such as al “Karaouiyine”, beautiful mosques, flea markets or “Sooks”, Idriss the first successfully built “ The house of science and the home of the religious knowledge.
Craft is, until now, at the center of Fez’s economy, almost thirty thousand craftsmen work in the Old medina, and every neighborhood has its specific products, for instance you’ll smell the tanner district before seeing it, or maybe the “Fekharine” where potters make traditional dishes with a famous cobalt blue, the most beautiful Moroccan ceramic china comes from the imperial city of morocco, some of those exquisite pieces are exposed in Dar Batha museum.
Nejjarines stands for carpenters; in this neighborhood craftsmen make beautiful wood furniture inspired by traditional Arabic castles, old pieces are stored in a museum called “foundouk Nejjarine”.
Medina of Fez
Kairaouine Mosque (Mosque of al-Qarawiyyin)
Bou Inania Medersa