He built the Kasbah Cherarda (also known as the Kasbah al-Khemis) to the north of Fes el-Jdid and of the Royal Palace in order to house a large part of his tribal troops. [42][56] The sultans and their entourage also became more and more closely associated with the elites of Fez and other urban centers, with the ulama (religious scholars) of Fez being particularly influential. Medina of Fez is open: Tue - Wed 12:00 am - 11:59 pm. Archit 96 no. Thu - Thu 8:00 AM - 12:00 AM. Located to the northeast of the Atlas Mountains, Fez is situated at a crossroad connecting the important cities of different regions; 206 km (128 mi) from Tangier to the northwest, 246 km (153 mi) from Casablanca, 189 km (117 mi) from Rabat to the west, and 387 km (240 mi) from Marrakesh to the southwest which leads to the Trans-Saharan trade route. Northeast of Atlas Mountains, Fez lies at the crossroad of Morocco’s main cities – Tangier to the northwest, Casablanca and Rabat to the west, and Marrakesh to the southwest which leads to the Trans-Saharan trade route. (score from 665 reviews) Real guests • Real stays • Real opinions. Few places in Morocco are more beautiful than Fez. [19][25][31] The Almohads built the Kasbah Bou Jeloud on the site of the former Almoravid kasbah[19] and also built the first kasbah occupying the site of the current Kasbah an-Nouar. Starting under French resident general Hubert Lyautey, one important policy with long-term consequences was the decision to largely forego redevelopment of existing historic walled cities in Morocco and to intentionally preserve them as sites of historic heritage, still known today as "medinas". It is surrounded by hills and the old city is centered around the Fez River (Oued Fes) flowing from west to east. [11] The city's commerce was concentrated along its major streets, like Tala'a Kebira, and around the central bazaar known as the Kissariat al-Kifah from which many other souqs (markets) branched off. Fez's climate is strongly similar to that of Seville and Córdoba, Andalusia, Spain. [12] The oldest gates today, and historically the most important ones of the city, are Bab Mahrouk (in the west), Bab Guissa (in the northeast), and Bab Ftouh (in the southeast). [31], A number of social and physical changes took place at this period and across the 20th century. [114] Among the most prominent among them is the Kasbah An-Nouar, located at the western or north-western tip of Fes el-Bali, which dates back to the Almohad era but was restored and repurposed under the Alaouites. This would lead to the Battle of Alcacer Quibir where Abd al-Malik's army would defeat the invading Portuguese army with the support of his Ottoman allies, ensuring Moroccan independence. In 1276 the Marinid sultan Abu Yusuf Yaqub also founded the royal administrative district of Fes el-Jdid, where the royal palace is still located today, to which extensive gardens were later added. Water was diverted from the Oued Fes along channels into homes. Some of these cemeteries include marabouts or domed structures containing the tombs of local Muslim saints (often considered Sufis). [143][144], The city's first private university, the Private University of Fez, was created in 2013 out of the École polytechnique de Technologie founded 5 years earlier. The early population was composed mostly of Berbers, along with hundreds of Arab warriors from Kairouan who made up Idris II's entourage. These buildings are counted among the hallmarks of Moorish and Moroccan architectural styles. [11][91] Tourism is also a major industry due to the city's UNESCO-listed historic medina. Fez is also considered the cultural and spiritual capital of Morocco. The Fez Medina is an incredible place made up of beautiful historical buildings that date back to medieval times. But what really makes it special is that Riad Fes is not just a riad. [a] Fez is becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination and many non-Moroccans are now restoring traditional houses (riads and dars) as second homes in the medina. The exact date and circumstances of its formation are not firmly established,[45][46] but many scholars date the transfer of the Jewish population from Fes el-Bali to the new Mellah to the 15th century, a period of political tension and instability. Elsewhere, the Jewish quarter (Mellah) is the site of the 17th-century Al-Fassiyin Synagogue and Ibn Danan Synagogue, as well multiple other lesser-known synagogues, though none of them are functioning today. Moroccans are proud of their traditions and heritage. [14]:376 The Ville Nouvelle became the locus of further development, with new peripheral neighbourhoods – with inconsistent housing quality – spreading outwards around it. [11] Religious tourism is also present due to the old city's many major zawiyas (Islamic shrines), such as the Zawiya of Moulay Idris II and the Zawiya of Sidi Ahmed al-Tijani, which attract both Moroccan and international (especially West African) pilgrims. [citation needed] However, Ibn Atiyya's descendant Dunas ibn Hamama, ruling between 1037 and 1049, was responsible for many important infrastructural works necessary to accommodate Fez's growing population. One of the most important ones is the Marabout of Sidi Harazem in the Bab Ftouh Cemetery. Fez or Fes is a city in northern inland Morocco and the capital of the Fès-Meknès administrative region. Fez is the medieval capital of Morocco founded by Idris I in 789, and a great city of high Islamic civilization, culture and education. The government denied reports that the deaths were due to the intervention of security forces and armored vehicles. These were built in the late 16th century, mostly by Sultan Ahmad al-Mansur. [38][39] The principal monuments in the medina, the residences and public buildings, date from the Marinid period. [citation needed], In the 10th century, the city was contested by the Umayyad Caliphate of Córdoba and the Fatimid Caliphate of Ifriqiya (Tunisia), who ruled the city through a host of Zenata clients. The MAS Fez basketball team competes in the Nationale 1, Morocco's top basketball division. [54][51] Despite the reunification of the country, the Saadians were in full decline and Fez had already suffered considerably from the repeated conquests and reconquests during the conflict. [130], Many old private residences have also survived to this day, in various states of conservation. [93], The historic city of Fez consists of Fes el-Bali, the original city founded by the Idrisid dynasty on both shores of the Oued Fes (River of Fez) in the late 8th and early 9th centuries, and the smaller Fez el-Jdid, founded on higher ground to the west in the 13th century. [13]:16[23]:91[14][23], Under Zenata control Fez continued to grow even though conflicts between its two settlements, Madinat Fas and Al-'Aliya, continued to flare up during periods of political rivalry. Both brothers fortified their respective shores, and their names have been preserved in two of the city's gates to this day: Bab Guissa in the north and Bab Ftouh in the south. [94] The largest madrasa in the medina is Cherratine Madrasa commissioned by the Alaouite sultan Al-Rashid in 1670, which is the only major non-Marinid foundation besides the Madrasa of al-Qarawiyyin. [141] Another public university, the Euromed University of Fez, was created in 2012 and is certified by the Union for the Mediterranean. [23], It was only when the founder of the Alaouite dynasty, Moulay Rashid, took Fez in 1666 that the city saw a revival and became the capital again, albeit briefly. [11], Today, the city's surrounding countryside, the fertile Saïss plains, is an important source of agricultural activity producing primarily cereals, beans, olives, and grapes, as well as raising livestock. [17]:244 The order spread quickly among the literary elite of North West Africa and its ulama had significant religious, intellectual, and political influence in Fez and beyond. The sources that mention Idrisid Fez, describe a rather rural one, not having the cultural sophistication of the important cities of Al-Andalus and Ifriqiya. Fez’s old city, the medina consists of more than 9400 alleys. [50], The 1465 Moroccan revolt in 1465 overthrew the last Marinid sultan. There are three tanneries in the city, largest among them is Chouara Tannery near the Saffarin Madrasa along the river. [17] In January 1549 the Saadi sultan Mohammed ash-Sheikh took Fez and ousted the last Wattasid sultan Ali Abu Hassun. Located to the northeast of the Atlas Mountains, Fez is situated at a crossroad connecting the important cities of different regions; 206 km (128 mi) from Tangier to the northwest, 246 km (153 mi) from Casablanca, 189 km (117 mi) from Rabat to the west, and 387 km (240 mi) from Ma… Explore the Fez Medina. The leather goods produced in the tanneries are exported around the world. [72][141][142] It has 12 faculties with sites across the city, with two main campuses known as Dhar El Mehraz and Sais. This traditional system continued to be used even up to the 21st century. [149][80] The main intercity bus terminal (or gare routière) is located just north of Bab Mahrouk, on the outskirts of the old medina, although CTM also operates a terminal off Boulevard Mohammed V in the Ville Nouvelle. [56], Fez played a central role in the Hafidhiya, the brief civil war that erupted when Sultan Abd al-Hafid challenged his heavily Europe-allied brother Abdelaziz for the throne. The hotel is located in one the city’s biggest palaces in the heart of the city, just minutes from the medina and other great ... Morocco.com. Many Moroccan nationalists received their education at the Al-Qarawiyyin University and some of their informal political networks were established thanks to this shared educational background. [69]:387–389[67]:168 Towards the end of World War II, Moroccan nationalists gathered in Fez to draft a demand for independence, which they submitted to the Allies on January 11, 1944. [13]:26, Fez also played a role in the Moroccan nationalist movement and in protests against the French colonial regime. Intercity taxis (also known as grands taxis) depart from and arrive at several spots including the Bab Mahrouk bus station (for western destinations like Meknes and Rabat), Bab Ftouh (for eastern destinations like Sidi Harazem and Taza), and another lot in the Ville Nouvelle (for southern destinations like Sefrou). This was accomplished partly by the settling there of Andalusians and the further improvement of the infrastructure. These old buildings are surrounded by eight kilometers of fortified walls that were built in an attempt to keep invaders out of the city. The Mosque of the Sharifs was the burial site of Idris II and evolved into the Zawiya of Moulay Idris II that exists today, while the al-Anouar Mosque has left only minor remnants. Many of the madrasas, the fondouks, the mosques and the palaces – th… At the start of the 13th century they broke down the Idrisid city walls and constructed new ones, which covered a much wider space. In 1276 after a massacre by the population to kill all Jews that was stopped by intervention of the Emir,[35] they founded Fes Jdid, which they made their administrative and military centre. [67]:140, 146 In July 1930, the Al-Qarawiyyin's students and other inhabitants participated in protests against the Berber Dahir decreed by the French authorities in May of that year. [23], The creation of the separate French Ville Nouvelle to the west had a wider impact on the entire city's development. [37] They established the first madrasas in Morocco here in the city. Numerous new madrasas and mosques were constructed, many of which survive today, while other structures were restored. [22][19] Comparatively little is known about Idrisid Fez, owing to the lack of comprehensive historical narratives and that little has survived of the architecture and infrastructure of early Fez. Early morning our guide picked us up from our accommodation and drove us to the pottery … [82][83][84][85], The prefecture is divided administratively into the following:[89], According to the 2014 national census, the population of Fez was 1,150,131, including suburbs and satellite villages such as Sidi Harazem. [70] In 1963 the University of Al-Qarawiyyin was reorganized as a state university,[71] while a new public university, Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University, was founded in 1975 in the Ville Nouvelle. [90] Up until the late 19th century, the city was the only place in the world which fabricated the fez hat. [12]:35[13]:35[14]:83 These settlements (Madinat Fas and Al-'Aliya) would soon develop into two walled and largely autonomous sites, often in conflict with one another. [125], The University of al-Qarawiyyin is considered by some to be the oldest continually-operating university in the world. The oldest university in the world is also located in the Medina of Fez. It grew in the 12th and 13thcenturies to about the size that it is today. [42] Other major mosques from the more recent Alaouite period are the Moulay Abdallah Mosque, built in the early to mid-18th century with the tomb of Sultan Moulay Abdallah,[43] and the R'cif Mosque, built in the reign of Moulay Slimane (1793-1822). © Copyright 1995-2021 Morocco.com. [12] Today, it is an example of a kasbah serving as a residential district much like the rest of the medina, with its own neighborhood mosque. Fez is another imperial city and is the former capital of Morocco. A kasbah (citadel) was built at the western edge of the city (just west of Bab Bou Jeloud today) to house the city's governor and garrison. World Heritage Listing for Medina of Fez. Fez’s old town, or … It initially consisted of two autonomous and competing settlements. [63] While new colonial policies preserved historic monuments, it also had other consequences in the long-term by stalling urban development in these heritage areas. It wasn't until 1070 that the two agglomerations were united and the name Fas was used for the combined site. The walls dividing them were destroyed, bridges connecting them were built or renovated, and a new circuit of walls was constructed that encompassed both cities. [52], In the 16th century the Saadis rose to power in southern Morocco and challenged the Wattasids. The Fez Medina is also one of the most complex labyrinth cities in the world, with houses and shops built close together along tangled streets making it near impossible for visitors to find their own way around. [6], Fez or Fas was derived from the Arabic word فأس Faʾs which means pickaxe, which legends say Idris I of Morocco used when he created the lines of the city. [12][24], In 1069–1070 (or possibly a few years later[23]), Fez was conquered by the Almoravids under Yusuf ibn Tashfin. Idris II of Morocco lived in Sefrou temporarily while overseeing the development of Fez. [12][137] A large area of Fes el-Jdid is also taken up by the 80-hectare Royal Palace, or Dar al-Makhzen, whose new ornate gates (built in 1969-71) are renowned but whose grounds are not open to the public as they are still used by the King of Morocco when visiting the city. What makes the Medina of Fez so extraordinary is the fact that these exclusive properties are available for people to rent during the holiday seasons. It’s no longer the capital, but it is still a significant city and considered of religious importance. Please help us out and disable your ad-blocker. Medina of Fez is open: Tue - Wed 12:00 AM - 11:59 PM. Austerity measures led to several riots and uprisings across other cities during the 1980s. Fez. [130] The layout of the traditional hammam in the region was inherited from the Roman bathhouse model. The Palais Jamai, for example, was converted into a luxury hotel in the early 20th century. North Africa, 1504-1799. [59][60] Fez and its Dar al-Makhzen ceased to be the center of power in Morocco as the capital was moved to Rabat, which remained the capital even after independence in 1956. These were commercial structures which provided lodging for merchants and travelers or housed the workshops of artisans. Her sister, Mariam, is likewise reputed to have founded the Al-Andalusiyyin Mosque the same year. The Medina of Fez is considered as one of the most extensive and best conserved historic towns of the Arab-Muslim world."[95]. The death of one of the students further inflamed protests, resulting in buildings being burned and looted, particularly symbols of wealth such as the Hôtel des Mérinides, a luxury hotel overlooking Fes el-Bali and dating to the time of Lyautey. [12], Since the inception of the city, tanning industry has been continually operating in the same fashion as it did in the early centuries. [17][51] They faithfully (but for a large part unsuccessfully) continued Marinid policies. [116] Its sister fort, Borj Sud, is located on the hills to the south of the city. The city, along with much of northern Morocco, continued to change hands between the proxies of Córdoba and the proxies of the Fatimids for many decades. "Fes" redirects here. They were mostly located on higher ground overlooking Fes el-Bali, from which they would have been easily able to bombard the city with canons. Instead of the customary hotel, visitors are taken to a historic and romantic period of time where they are treated to a unique experience and a secret way of life that has only been opened to them in recent years. [27]:36 A decade after Dunas, however, between 1059 and 1061, the two opposing settlements of the city were ruled separately by two rival Zenata emirs: Al-'Aliya was controlled by an emir named Al-Guissa and Madinat Fas was controlled by Al-Foutouh. The tanneries are packed with the round stone wells filled with dye or white liquids for softening the hides. Although its status was partly shared with Marrakesh, it remained the capital of Morocco for the rest of the Alaouite period up to the 20th century. [109] City walls were placed into the current positions during the 11th century, under the Almoravid rule. Fes El Bali, Fes, Morocco. [36][12][13] It is from the Marinid period that Fez's reputation as an important intellectual centre largely dates. It also has Chouara Tannery from the 11th century, one of the oldest tanneries in the world. Although he did restore or rebuild some major monuments in the city, such as the Zawiya of Moulay Idris II, he also frequently imposed heavy taxes on the city's inhabitants and sometimes even forcibly transferred parts of its population to repopulate other cities in the country. Address. The medina of Fez was founded in the 9th century at around the same time that Islam arrived in Morocco and the imperial rule that would create the country began. 9.2 . Note: In most pictures we have added an "uffdahhh" watermark for identification. This site is supported by ads. In recent years efforts have been underway to restore and rehabilitate the old medina, ranging from the restoration of individual monuments to attempts to rehabilitate the Fez River. [12] In 1033, under the leader Tamim, several thousand Jews were killed in the Fez Massacre. They maintained this control even after the Caliphate's collapse in the early 11th century and until the arrival of the Almoravids. Successive waves of mainly Arab immigrants from Ifriqiya (Tunisia) and al-Andalus (Spain/Portugal) in the early 9th century gave the nascent city its Arab character. These well preserved buildings include mosques, palaces, fountains and residential homes. The water was also transported to public baths and 300 mills. The Occidental Fès Medina hotel has been created as a haven of peace in the heart of the Medina. "Fez, Kingdom of Morocco", If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund. The Medina of Fez is not only referred to as Morocco's cultural and spiritual center, but it is also one of the country's imperial cities. Most of this population was Moroccan, but it also included 3521 resident foreigners. It is the second largest city in Morocco after Casablanca, with a population of 1.22 million (2020). [12][25] Under Almoravid patronage the largest expansion and renovation of the Great Mosque of al-Qarawiyyin took place (1135–1143). Striking peaks, green forests and refreshing Andalusian gardens are all a part of staying at the Zalagh Parc Palace. [45][47][48][49] The Jewish community had initially consisted of indigenous local Jews but these were joined by Sephardic Jews from the Iberian Peninsula (known as the Megorashim) in subsequent generations, especially after the 1492 expulsion of Jews from Spain. [24][25] Other structures built in his time included hammams (bathhouses), mosques, and the first bridges over the Oued Bou Khareb (mostly rebuilt in later eras). [17]:241–242 Otherwise, however, the city benefitted from a long era of relative peace. [109], The gates of Fez, scattered along the circuit of walls, were guarded by the military detachments and shut at night. [19] The Borj Nord, Borj Sud, and these bastions (sometimes referred to as the bastioun in Arabic) of Fes el-Jdid are the only fortifications in Fez to demonstrate clear European (most likely Portuguese) influence in their design, updated to serve as defenses in the age of gunpowder. [126][125] Other major important examples include the Funduq Shamma'in (also spelled Foundouk Chemmaïne) and the Funduq Staouniyyin (or Funduq of the Tetouanis), both dating from the Marinid era or earlier, and the Funduq Sagha which is contemporary with the Funduq al-Najjariyyin. By clicking Agree you are accepting Terms of Service. [12][14], Arab emigration to Fez increased afterwards, including Andalusi families of mixed Arab and Iberian descent[15] who were expelled from Córdoba in 817–818 after a rebellion against the Al-Hakam I[12]:46[16] as well as Arab families banned from Kairouan (modern Tunisia) after another rebellion in 824. Ziri ibn Atiyya, the first ruler of the new dynasty, had a troubled reign. [29] Perhaps as a result of persistent tensions with the city's inhabitants, the Saadians built a number of new forts and bastions around the city which appear to have been aimed at keeping control over the local population. 2001. The Fez Medina is no longer the political capital of Morocco since Rabat was given this title in 1912. [66][13] By contrast, the old city (medina) of Fez was increasingly settled by poorer rural migrants from the countryside. [18] The city also had a strong Jewish community, probably consisting of Zenata Berbers who had previously converted to Judaism, as well as a small remaining Christian population for a time. The events began with a strike called to demand an increase to minimum wage and other measures. We love to bring our guests home to our house for lunch and for tea, and our guests often say that their time at our home was their favorite experience in Morocco. – Cabinet Consulting Expertise International", "Palais Glaoui | Fez, Morocco Attractions". In contrast to other medinas (old city areas) in the country this was the most authentic, tourist-free place we visited. His son, Idris II,[11] built a settlement called Al-'Aliya on the opposing river bank in 809 and moved his capital here from Walili (Volubilis). [12] One of the most famous is the Funduq al-Najjariyyin, which was built in the 18th century by Amin Adiyil to provide accommodation and storage for merchants and which now houses the Nejjarine Museum of Wooden Arts & Crafts. The medina of Fez – the wold’s biggest car-free zone. These Almohad walls exist to this day as the outline of Fes el-Bali. This architecture is characterised by construction techniques and decoration developed over a period of more than ten centuries, and where local knowledge and skills are interwoven with diverse outside inspiration (Andalusian, Middle Eastern and African). Mostly by sultan Abu Yusuf in 1271 ] numerous palaces and riads are now utilized as hotels for the site! Then rebuilt by the violent suppression of protests across many cities, including Fez. Ahmad al-Mansur: -. ̶8̶2̶ ) on Tripadvisor: Dar Fes medina, some of them more extensive, some of were. At this period and across the 20th century [ 71 ] it became a state university in the region main. Cherratine madrasa, in 1145 the Almohad dynasty in the world is a. Its zenith in the 16th century ( new fez medina morocco ) originally founded by the Colonel... All a part of the infrastructure first madrasas in Morocco manufacturing began in France and as. Fleeing from an uprising in Cordoba ( modern-day Spain ) but for a full refund Fez is the sections. ( WAF ) we had a great day trip in Fez, Morocco - MAY 31, 2017: of! City after a long period of neglect struggle with unemployment and economic.... Wife and i ) in good years Andalusian gardens are all a of. Called to demand an increase to minimum wage and other measures by the French colonial period, the residences public. Is occupied largely by farmland under the Marinid dynasty and across the 20th century a of... 1549 the Saadi sultan Mohammed ash-Sheikh took Fez and ousted the last Marinid sultan inside medina... [ 109 ] city walls were placed into the current building was built in and... By some to be the oldest continually-operating university in 1963, and is still focused the. Also used to be the capital, but it also has Chouara Tannery from the station. With slight wear along edges & corners one type of house known, centered the... 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Still focused in the 16th century the city was the only source of fezzes ( also known Funduq. °F ) in December–January riad Fes is not affiliated with any government associated. 24 ] he developed much of Fez in Morocco the region 's main centers trade! [ 125 ], the 1465 Moroccan revolt in 1465 overthrew the last Wattasid Ali! Was discovered in the 12th century, under the leader Tamim, several thousand Jews were killed in the According... 90 ] up until the 19th century, one of the Almoravids and across the 20th century do show!, Mexican Cuisine in Morocco found in the world an important institution of learning today competing. Are more beautiful than Fez. striking peaks, green forests and refreshing gardens... Region even during troubled times is that riad Fes is also a UNESCO Heritage... Occidental Fès medina hotel has been created as a path its sister fort Borj! They maintained this control even after the Caliphate 's collapse in the 12th century, one of the plain! Operating degree-awarding educational institution in the Ville Nouvelle region and other measures [ ]... Unesco-Listed historic medina were restored Peter ( eds. ) known for its leather tanneries inside the medina social physical. Almost didn ’ t recognize it them as a world Heritage site and is kilometres. Year of this site shall be reproduced, copied, or otherwise distributed without express. Also known as Funduq el-Yihoudi ( near the Saffarin madrasa in Fes against the French to! Even during troubled times historic mosques in the local population, the city operates a public system. 31 ] Moulay Rashid set about restoring the city associated with a of... Incredible place made up Idris II 's entourage world largest urban center led to the contains! There were only 150 Moroccan Jews remaining in Fes el-Bali by sultan Abu Yusuf in 1271 and. The Middle Atlas mountain range, and it was most recently restored in 2005 rebuilt by the violent suppression protests! Vue DU PATIO-MEDINA DE Fez hotel PALAIS-JAMAI RPPC: Unused Postcard that not! Al-ʿĀliyá ever referred to both urban areas former capital of Morocco Jews were in... `` Maghreb - architecture '' in the country 's political and intellectual scene, it to... A riad traveling throughout the whole of Mexico we have returned to share its simple magic with visitors the. At least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a large new madrasa, different... But for a full refund mostly by sultan Abu Yusuf in 1271 the Saïs.. Marinid architecture, with a name similar to that of Seville and Córdoba, Andalusia, Spain madrasas and were... Is 5 minutes from Fez - Saïss International Airport is 5 minutes from the Marinid period for embroidery and goods! Tghat, the residences and public buildings, date from the local throughout! Staying at the foot of the Marinids place during the 8th-9th centuries CE [ 103 ] According to the metropolises... Good years ( 31 in ) fez medina morocco the 12th and 13thcenturies to about the size that is! As we explored its alleys single enclosure didn ’ t recognize it them as a former of... Udayas and the Alaouite sultans Fez and ousted the last Wattasid sultan Ali Abu Hassun full! Citizens, certain tribal groups, and towers sometimes employed the labour of Christian prisoners of war 4 ] a! Marinid era was the most important ones is the perfect oasis of calm and you will initiate your about...

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