Fez - Morocco
This imperial city is a memorial city. It inherited the Berber and Andalusian culture from the former Sharifan Empire.
Fez is a fascinating and mysterious place that has been blessed by the gods.
Its university (one of the the oldest in the world), its artisans and local craftsmanship maintain its traditions.
However, it is become an active modern city.
Fez is divided into three towns or stops going back in time:
- Youthful Fez: is interesting due to its hotels and restaurants dating back to French Protectorate.
- Middle-Aged Fez or Fez el-Jédid: established during the XIIIth century by the Marinid dynasty.
- Elderly Fez or Fes el Bali: built in two stages.
It has been a small Berber city since 789.
In 809, Idriss II founded a real Muslim city (royal palace, mosque, kissaria or covered market, channels, fortifications...).
Emigrants (of various religious backgrounds, including: Jewish, Muslim, Islamic Christians) settled in here over the course of centuries and they have all tolerated living together. They enriched the city with their customs and knowledge. This intermingling generates the development of arts and intellectual growth with a few cultural and commercial exchanges mixing together.
At the beginning of the XIth century, debut of the Golden Age, mosques, sumptuous residences, elegant Madrasahs (centers for Koranic education) were flourishing throughout the capital. These Madrasahs accommodates numerous well-rounded people and theologists. Fez also attracts foreign students, Andalusian artists and craftsmen.
The Hispano-Muslim Art developed an extremely elegant style.
The city reached its peak around 1350 and that was followed by its ascension. Today, Fez remains the most important cultural capital and religious center in the country. The artisans remain the economic driving force. Numerous local craftsmen perpetuate an ambiance from the Middle Ages.
The contrast caught between a place charge with history and a city rapidly moving towards modern lifestyles.
It's worth seeing...
The Fez Medina: is an entanglement of passageways, hallways, stairs, small courtyards... This fantastic universe is classified by UNESCO as a world heritage site. You will be surprised by the souks that are full of scents, sounds and aromas. Wandering into this labyrinth will lead you to discoveries. Allow yourself to be captivated by the unique atmosphere of this gigantic bazaar.
Within the Medina
Dar Batha: is a popular art museum of Hispano-Muslim construction. Listen to the birds in the calm interior garden.
The El-Qaraouiyyin Mosque: its minaret is the oldest in the Muslim world and the courtyard of Lions is a faithful replica of this from the Alhambra (of Grenada).
Chouara Tannery in Fez: in spite of the odor, the show is amazing.
The Joutia: markets for salt, fish and eggs.
The Nejjarîn Museum of Arts of Wood Craft: is a silent place. Admire the carpenters, who work on cedar wood.
El Attarîn Madrasa: spiced up by the souk and more intimate.
Bou Inania Madrasa: is the largest and most beautiful in the city. Wonderful wealth from the interior that is completely constructed of cedar wood and stucco, with columns made from Carrare marble
The Ech-Cherabliyyîn mosque: its beautiful minaret is decorated with polychrome ceramic and its terra cotta tile.
Within Fez el Jédid
The Ancient Mechouar: be entertained by the tumblers (dancers and storytellers) during the evenings.
The Danan Synagogue: in the mellah (Jewish district): tracing the Moroccan Judaic past and the moving Jewish Cemetery. émouvant.
The large street from the Mérénides: souks are very animated. Take a pleasant stroll. And for the ladies, jewelers, goldsmiths...
The surrounding area...
Sidi-Harazen: is an oasis with a source of mineral water known since the Leo Africanus period.
Moulay-Yacoub: is a small thermal site tucked into a magnificent countryside and is a good treatment for rheumatism.
Djebel Tazzeka and the gouffre du Friouato: is a breath-taking excursion. You definitely should not miss this!
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