Fez city is so rich with its history, culture and traditions. That’s what makes tourists come from all over the world. If you’ve never been there, there are many places to visit in Fez. Here is an overview on the Fez the ancient medina:
Fez was named after the scientific capital of Morocco and it is known as the city of culture and religious sciences, with its historical cultural heritage. Since the establishment of the first nucleus of the city at the hands of the IDRISSIS’ more than 1,200 years ago.
One of the places to visit in Fez, which is the most important school or rather, a university for which Fez is internationally known for its ancient history, is the University of AL-QARAWIYYIN. It was founded by FATIMA AL-FIHRIYAH in the heart of the old Medina in 859AD, and is the first and oldest university in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records, as it is a beacon of science and a center of cultural, religious and intellectual activity.
Also, the famous AL-ATTARIN School, which is located north of AL-QARAWIYYIN Mosque. It is established by Sultan ABU SAEED OTHMAN BIN YAQOUB AL-MARINI between 1322 AD and 1325 AD. The main yard reveals the traditional forms of Merenid designs, including beautiful Zellij (furnishing), cedar, plaster and pillars of onyx.
BOU INANIA Medersa comes next, It was established by Abu Inan Faris in 1351–56 AD. As a brilliant example of Marinid architecture, this is widely accepted. This Medrasa is one of the religious sites in Morocco that non-Muslim tourists have access to. The Dar al-Magana, an hydraulic clock barrier that was built in rivalry with the Medraza, is contrasted with the Medrasa BOU INANIA.
Markets to visit
Fez has always been known by its Markets in the Medina. Here are some of the most famous ones, EL Attarine Market from the name of the market, it seems to be a market for selling perfumery materials, herbs and plants. El Henna Market This is one of the oldest markets in the city, it specializes in the sale of cosmetics and natural recipes for beauty, like Kohl and henna. Essafarine market is one of the most important landmarks of the city of Fez. It is famous for the handicrafts of copper, silver utensils and jugs. Essabaghine Market which is the market for tanning craft, and it is famous for its colorful floor due to the colors cast by the dyers on the tiles, turning it into a beautiful painting. El Kissariya Market is specialized in producing silk, embroidered fabrics and brocade, as well as the availability of local pottery products ornaments and jewelry. This market has been famous for its many products that please the visitors.
More : Markets to visit in Fez
Mausoleums to see in Fez
Another place to visit in Fez is The Mausoleum of MOULAY IDRISS (Idris II), is one of the historical monuments visited by visitors to the ancient city of Fez. But what is remarkable is that the authorities responsible for tourism affairs do not provide the visitor with any information about the mausoleum, except for the date of the birth of Idris II, inscribed on a marble rectangle at its gate.
The Mausoleum of MOULAY IDRISS dates from the heart of the ancient city, to an important stage in the history of the 12-century city. Not only was he incubated for the tomb of its builder, Mawla Idris II, but it constituted a tourist shrine and a space for prayers, thereby transforming it into a “mausoleum of the mosque”. Similar to the mosque of the mausoleum of SIDI AHMED AL-TIJANI, a shrine, the pilgrimage of the Africans, and the incubator of the tomb of this Sheikh.
The mausoleum/mosque surrounded by the mosque of the villagers, within a network of historical, urban, cultural and religious landmarks embraced by narrow alleys connected to various markets, assignments, gates, doors and antique schools. It is currently the most famous ancient edifice that is frequently visited not only for tourism, but for worship and the blessing of buried in it, by murids and sheikhs. And regular visitors.
What was motivated by the presence of the mausoleum, is in a strategic location surrounded by several religious monuments dating to the construction and establishment of the state.
Towers to visit
The city of Fez has many of the towers that were built during the Saadi era, including the Kawakib Tower (14th century), the Nafara Tower (and the Dar al-Mukhtar Tower (14th century), then the Bounaif Tower (16th century) and Boutwil Tower.
These historical sites and civilizational spaces that were originally used to defend the city and protect it from external threats. While observing its roads and tracks are characterized by a large area that is mostly more than 2000 square meters with the harmony of its architectural lines and the balance between the buildings and the rest of the structures that constitute the components of these towers. This reflects the great transformation that has been achieved at the level of architecture with military and defense uses in Morocco during this period. Especially since these towers were used in many times to store weapons, even heavy ones, and were able to withstand external attacks Guns. One of these constellations, which was built during the Marinid period, was the Kawakib Tower, and its mission was to support, reinforce and monitor the outskirts of the city, especially from the north.
As for the Nafara Tower and the Temporary House, their construction dates back to the era of Sultan Abu Anan Al-Marini and they formed spaces for the interested and researchers in the field of astronomy and observing the constellations in the sky to adjust timing and calculation.
Streets to Discover in the Medina
As described, there are many places to visit in Fez. Since, for hundreds of years, Fez became popular of the traditional industries. Because of the many crafts that people have worked, the town has several common streets, which makes it an attractive indication that markets are formed to sell their products.
The market’s name seems to be El Attarine Street, a market where perfume products, herbs and plants are distributed. The ancient market in the city is in the heart of the town of Fez, which is located near the Mosque of El Quarawiin.
We went past the Bab Bou Jeloud Gate and entered the street Talaa Sghira, where there was ample food in the end of Talaa Place Sghira. And that Probalan is the medina location, with more food since, apart from and just in front of food stalls, 6 restaurants of various typologies of Morocco have sweets and food if we hungry and need desserts.
The biggest « street » in Fez is Talaa Kebeera. It starts shortly after Bab Boujeloud and passes the whole medina. Near this main artery are many different shops, souks and sights. Although often crowded with locals as well as tourists, the old Fez tastes great.
Spots Not to Miss
You should not miss many spots, as the Dar El Makhzen is located directly opposite the Jewish quarter and is the Royal Palace of Fez. It used to be the home of the Pharaoh, later of many leaders, and now the King of Morocco travels to those rooms daily too.
Just outside of the Medina there lies a beautiful paradise hidden. The Jnan Sbil Gardens are an oasis of peace in the always busy Fez. This park is beautifully decorated with colorful flowers, beautiful palm trees and a whole collection of cacti and other tropical plants.
Essafarine is one of the city’s most popular sights. It is popular for bronze, silver utensils and juices handicrafts. This business takes its name from the yellow color of copper and utensils. It is also considered a tourist destination where history and tradition are strong.
There are a lot of lovely gates and squares in Fez’s Medina, but the Bab Boujloud is one you must see. You reach straight to the heart of the medina with this beautiful blue gate. It’s very busy in the evening near this door, but the best pics of this impressive monument can also be seen here.
Once you reach this area, the scent of cedar wood used by carpenters in their work is recognized. The craftspeople make tables, boxes or decorative doors and many different items to decorate homes with cedar and rice trees. There is a wide square in this market called the Ennajarine Square, where the water fountains are very lovely.
When you cross the old Medina of Fez, you will find many signs that you are on your way saying « Square R’cif » and you will let them guide you to the narrow streets of the old Medina, that big square and homeless to give you the impression of discovering the small city of Fez. R’cif Square is a large square where kids play, parents chat and life gradually or quickly moves with sight. After a long walk in the Medina, this is a nice place to rest. As you sit, loosen your legs and enjoy the view and everyday life at Fez.
100,000 people including 30,000 arts and craftsmen, 14,000 buildings on an area of 400 ha, hundred alleys, 24 km of walls, 17 doors monumental, etc. In the figures it offers, the legacy of Fez’s medina is not restored. There are many miracles, however, that make it a yearly journey through time and history for the 400.000 to 500.000 tourists who dream. The Fondouks Chemmaïne, Sbitriyyine, Barka and Staouniyyine are among these wonders.
In reality, after a renovation work crowned with a label called Fanadik Fez, these sites have restored their former splendor. As part of the « Handicrafts and Medina of Fez, » the Agency for Creation and Rehabilitation of the City of Fez carried out a contact project for everyone. Agency officials also declare the introduction of a new management model, recognizing the role of media in helping newly restored monuments.
Completed in the 18th century, the Fondouk al-Nejjarine was used for travelers and merchants as a « caravanaserai » or « roadside inn. » A former minister invested 25 million dirhams to rebuild and turn the fondouk into a museum. In this wonderfully reconstructed building, visitors always want to spend an hour learning about the indigenous woodwork in Morocco.
Museums to Visit in Fez
Museums in Fez are so fascinating places to visit in Fez. Nejjarine comes first this magnificent museum is surrounded by Andalusian architecture dating back to the 18th Century near the Carpener Suk in the center of the medina. The museum is housed in a former museum in which 25 million dirhams were invested by a former Minister. In addition to a collection of wood and a cabinet job, antique and contemporary woodworking devices are shown in the museum from different parts of Morocco.
A broad variety of modern Moroccan paintings and crafts can be found in the Dar Batha Museum.. Most objects have been removed from historic town houses. Guests will appreciate intricate Berber rugs, ancient musical instruments and delicate sticking in the region. There is a large collection of ceramics, beautiful zellige tiles, thorough wood gravures and fine plasterwork from tadelakt. It is an also interesting building, dating back to the late nineteenth century and built on the orders of one of the former sultans of the country. Upon admiring the objects and exhibits, the gardens give a lovely walk.
The Riad Belghazi Museum has a beautiful collection of crafts and decorative items located within a majestic typical Moroccan Riad. Exhibits are well crafted tapestries, brothers and needlework, musical instruments, fine gold jewelry, pottery and typical Moroccan clothes. In the province of Rabat there is also a museum of Belghazi.
The scientific and spiritual capital of the Kingdom of Morocco, Fez, is famous for its historical and ancient landmarks that have distinguished the city since its existence, and it has remained a mark that attracts every visitor from Morocco and abroad. Among the most important of the monuments that have remained firmly established today are the most important and oldest profession practiced by the inhabitants of Fez since more than two centuries, “Dar Al-Dabbagh”.
Despite the development that the city of Fez has known, and the emergence of many modern factories specialized in the leather industry. It is known for its tanning role and which exceeded the number of other Moroccan cities, still maintains some of the tanning houses, whose construction dates back to the Middle Ages and on top of which is the most important Dar tanning, Showara Tannery.
The tanning house, Showara, is related to another tanning role, so the visitor thinks that he is in the middle of a festival of colors. There are traditional ministries on the roofs of the tannery that sell everything that is made of leather, such as jackets, bags, shoes, and rhetoric. Despite the unpleasant odors resulting from the leather manufacturing process, which the manufacturers and shop owners are accustomed to, the beauty of the tannery, its pure colors and its old traditional design forget the visitor how strong the smell is.
One of the most important handicrafts in Fez is Pottery. It is the first craft in the history of mankind. It mixes the barbarian heritage on the one hand and the Maghreb heritage on the other hand. There are several techniques used to decorate clay pieces in the form of decorations and decorations. In Morocco, we find 3 main types of pottery crafts: urban pottery and attractive shapes, most of which are made in Fez, Safi and Salé.
In the city of Fez, there are senior makers of pride. This craft is learned from one generation to another. There are more than 500 craftsmen in the city of Fez who specialize in pottery. The manufacturing process takes place after the eradication of clay from the ceramic hills, which are often huge stones to be placed in the factory where It is filtered from limestone, and immediately after that it is transferred to basins and tanks to lie in the water, then dried from this water for 24 hours,
For the potter, to begin the process of kneading and turning over a place called « the ball » through which cylindrical forms are formed. That are placed over a spiral, where the learner moves it by his feet to initiate the cylinder in circulation. Which enables him to make the shape to be made dependent on this traditional process. Primarily on water after finishing the products of the pottery. it is exposed to sunlight in order to dry it until it takes its strength and hardness, then it is inserted into the oven for cooking in very high temperatures up to 1200 degrees for the large ovens.
And in the end, it is presented to the « Al-Zawwak », which it paints with the help of dyeing and brushing, as it writes some words and symbols that focus on the Islamic and civilizational identity of Morocco, and we find ceramic utensils that are very beautiful and accurate in making.