Fes

Visit Morocco

Bab Boujeloud

Fes, the mysterious. Located in the Middle Atlas, surrounded by olive groves lies the crown jewel of Morocco’s imperial cities. Fes was one of the important cultural, scientific and religious capitals in the Islamic world. No Moroccan city has a richer history and cultural heritage than Fes. One of the world’s most beautiful and well-preserved medievil cities, Fes is an essential stop in any Moroccan trek. The old city (medina) and its market (souk) are labyrinthesque with endless streets to get lost in. The luxurious riads where Morocco’s elite resided centuries ago are being transformed into palacial boutique hotels, following Marrakech and Essaouira's enormous success. Visit the leather tanneries and their natural dying process, to see where where some of the world’s softest leather is made. Enjoy a lamb and apricot tajine in one of the old city’s many restaurants to understand why Fes has been at the epicenter of Moroccan cuisine for centuries, just as it has been for many other things.

More: The Soul of Morocco at the New York Times

Click to enlarge:
Courtyard   Medina     View from balcony   Riad Fes, hotel   Bou Inania  

 

Sightseeing

Fes el Bali (old city)

Built in the 9th century, the medina of Fes el Bali is classified a world heritage site by UNESCO. The city unravels itself layer by layer, it’s labyrynthesque structure slowly letting you discover boutiques stocked with magnificent wood and metal handwork, beautiful riads, peaceful cafes to rest one’s feet and enjoy a mint tea with pastries or a restaurant where one can feast on a assortment of dishes including notoriously decadent dishes such as the lamb and dried plum tajine or the chicken pastilla.

Leather Tanneries

Leather goods are known as Maroquinerie in French, due to Morocco’s world-class reputation in crafting leather goods of the highest quality. Fes is the capital of Moroccan leather and its countless leather tanneries are a fascinating return to the artisanal methods of old in a world of mass-production. The distinctive odour of animal hides and the plethora of colors in the tubs filled with natural pigment are sure to remain vivid long after you’ve left.

Al Quarawiyin University and Mosque

A testament to Moroccan design and craftsmanship, Al Quarawiyin is the world’s oldest operating institution of higher learning in the world. Founded in 859, it played a leading role in the cultural and academic relations between Europe and the Islamic world. It is a shinig example of Mauresque architecture.

Dar Batha Museum

This palace, built in the late nineteenth century, houses an impressive collection of traditional art from Fes, including carved wood, wrought iron work, sculpted plaster, embroidery, carpets, jewelry and coins. The centerpiece of the museum is the pottery room where the famous Fes blue ceramics, colored with cobalt, are featured.

Madrassa Bou Inania

Built during the mid-1300’s, this center of islamic learning is considered the best monument from the Marinid dynasty. It features a beautiful traditional Moroccan courtyard, complete with a centerpiece foutain and intricately detailed mosaic on the floor and walls. Surrounded by a beautiful garden, the inside of the madrassa features some of the most impressive Moroccan detail work on wood, brass, iron and ceramic.

Nejjarine Museum of Wooden Arts and Crafts

The museum awes before even walking inside, with a magnificent traditional Moroccan fountain located at the entrance. Inside you can learn about Morocco’s rich tradition of artisanal woodwork.

 

To do

Shop for Moroccan rugs and metalwork

For centuries Fes has been the capital of Moroccan craftsmanship. The souk has countless stores selling beuatiful handwoven rugs, handmade silverware and luxurious hand stitched caftans.

More: Masters of Metal at the New York Times

 

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