This full day guided city tour in Fes Medina will allow you to discover all important places in Fes. It's a real time travel through all aspects of Morocco history.
Mechouar or mashwar is a place mainly existing in Maghreb. It is served as a place for pledging of allegiance to the Sultan in a ceremony called Bayaa. The custom consists of kissing hands of the monarch.
A mellah is a walled Jewish quarter of a city in Morocco, analogous to the European ghetto. Jewish population were confined to mellahs in Morocco beginning from the 15th century and especially since the early 19th century. It first was seen as a privilege and a protection against the Arabs' attacks in the region, but with the growing of the population, it then became a poor and miserable place. With the colonisation and the arrival of the Europeans at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, the Mellah opened and gave new economical and social possibilities to the Moroccan Jews.
The Bab Bou Jeloud is a gate that leads to the old medina, Fes el Bali, in Fez, Morocco.
Surrounded by high walls, the Pasha Baghdadi square connects the medina with Fez el-Jedid. On one side of the square, you can make out the Bab Bou Jeloud, a beautiful monumental gate built in 1913 and the main entrance to Fez el-Bali.
Fes el Bali is the oldest walled part of Fes. Fes el Bali was originally founded as the capital of the Idrisid dynasty between 789 and 808 AD. Besides being famous for having the oldest university in the world, the University of Al-Karaouine, Fes el Bali, with a total population of 156,000, is also believed to be the biggest car-free urban area in the world.
UNESCO listed Fes el Bali as a world heritage site in 1981 under the name Medina of Fez. The world heritage site includes Fes el Bali's urban fabric and walls as well as a buffer zone outside of the walls that is intended to preserve the visual integrity of the location.
Dar al-Magana is a house in Fes, built by the Marinid Sultan Abu Inan Faris which holds a weight-powered water clock. The muwaqqit Abou al-Hassan Ibn Ali Ahmed Tlemsani was responsible for building the clock, which was finished on 6 May 1357. The Dar al-Magana is opposite the Bou Inania Madrasa and connected to this school.
The Zaouia Moulay Idriss II is a zaouia (shrine) in Fes, Morocco, dedicated to and tomb of Moulay Idriss II, who ruled Morocco from 807 to 828 and founded the city of Fes for the second time in 810
In the year 1308, almost five centuries since the death of Moulay Idriss II, an uncorrupted body was found on the spot. People believed this was Moulay Idriss II and founded the Zaouia. Originally built by the Marinids circa 1440, over the centuries the building was amended heavily, and almost completely replaced in the 18th century by Moulay Ismail in a style typical of the Alaouites that govern Morocco to this day.
A must-see site, the recently restored medersa or theological college is one of the few Islamic religious buildings open to non-Muslims. Constructed between 1350-1356 by the Merenid sultan Bou Inan, it is considered the finest and most lavishly decorated medersa built by the Merenids and features fabulously carved cedar wood interiors, classic zellig tilework and a stunning marble courtyard entrance. It's the only medersa in Morocco with a minbar (pulpit) and a minaret. Closed during prayer times. (Some parts may be inaccessible due to restoration work.)
A Fes institution little changed for six centuries, the pungent tanneries or Chouara is the most extraordinary sight in the medina. Swarms of leather workers pound animal hides with their feet or dip skins into honeycombed huge stone vats of pigment, their bare legs stained by dyes. The tanners' yard can be best seen from the surrounding terrace rooftops, such as Terrasse de Tannerie , a shop selling leather goods, accessible from a staircase leading up from Derb Chouara in the medina. (It is expected that you will at least look around the shop afterwards, and if nothing is bought a tip to the shop owner is appreciated). This is not a place to be downwind on a hot afternoon when the stench of pigeon dung (used as part of the curing process) can be unpleasantly strong.
Non-Muslims may not enter this huge mosque, in the heart of Fès El-Bali but often the doors stand open and it is possible to take a discreet look inside. Established in 857, the Kairaouine Mosque is one of the oldest in the western Muslim world. Due to the proximity of surrounding houses and shops, the best place to appreciate the scale of the mosque is from the roof of the Mederse el Attarine, which is sometimes open to the public. Up to 20,000 people can squeeze into the mosque.
Founded in 1325, this medersa in the heart of the medina has wondrous decorative detail and is, after the Bou Inania, the most impressive of the medieval Muslim colleges. One of the best views of the Kairaouine Mosque is from the roof of the Medersa el Attarine if you can persuade the caretaker to give you access.
A Fès landmark, the exquisitely restored former caravanserai which once provided food and shelter to traders during the 18th century is now the Museum of Wooden Arts and Crafts. Inside visitors will be able to examine close up its most intricate carvings, beautifully carved wooden arches and inner courtyard. Outside, in the pretty place el-Nejjarine (Carpenters' Square) is the Nejjarine Fountain, best known of the medina's mosaic fountains, and in the alleys that lead off the square is the Nejjarine Souk, where carpenters still chisel and carve cedar wood.
Extensive collection of historical treasures showcasing Moroccan arts and crafts: fine embroidery, leatherwork, carpets and jewellery, woodcarving, ceramics, all housed in a century old Moorish palace. Guided tour obligatory. The museum's Andalusian garden is a tranquil retreat from the bustle of the medina.
The Royal Palace sits on 80 hectares (198 acres) of land and is set amid beautiful gardens, mosques and an ancient madrassa. Built in the 17th century by the Merenid rulers, it is situated in the centre of Fès el Jdid. The building is not open to the public but its exteriors can be admired. It is serves as the residence of the King of Morocco when he visits this area.
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