Fez: UNESCO World Heritage Series

Fez: UNESCO World Heritage Series

Fez, one of Morocco’s most enchanting cities, is a treasure trove of cultural heritage. Steeped in history and boasting a rich tapestry of architectural wonders, Fez has been recognized by UNESCO for its exceptional universal value as early as 1981. For amateurs of history, architecture, crafts and arts alike, the several Fez UNESCO World Heritage sites are very well deserving of a spot on any bucket list.

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The Old Capital: Fez, Morocco

The Old Capital: Fez, Morocco

Although demoted from the position of Morocco’s capital city, there is little doubt that Morocco’s former capital, the city of Fez, remains one of the most important cities in the entire country. Fez was the capital of Morocco for over four centuries, and it still remains the cultural center of the country, as well as one of the most important religious centers. The city was founded in the late 8th century, and a large part of Fez remains a medieval city in design, a visual proof of the city’s history and culture.

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Top 10 Posts to Read Before You Visit Fez

Top 10 Posts to Read Before You Visit Fez

Until 1925 Fez was the modern capital of Morocco and it retains its prestige as one of the most enchanting and enriching cities in the country. Home to the world’s largest car-free city center and the world’s oldest functioning university, it’s no surprise Fez is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site and a must-visit on tourist radars. Before you pack your bags and visit Fez, here are ten articles for you to read, get prepared, and make sure you get the most out of your visit to this ancient city. (more…)

Medersa Bou Inania: A Moroccan Gem in Fez

Medersa Bou InaniaAlthough Sultan Abou Inan wasn’t the most pious of men (having killed his father, brutally murdered his rivals, and fathering over 300 offspring), he was able to devote some time towards developing one of Morocco’s most beautiful medersas, the magnificent Medersa Bou Inania (also known as Madrasa Bou Inania or simply Bu Inaniya). Built between 1351 and 1358, the medersa stands today as one of the most stunning examples of Merenid architecture in the world. Initially, it functioned as both an educational institute and a mosque. Today it is still an active religious building, and it is one of the few mosques in Morocco that remains open for all to visit, including those that are not Muslim, providing a unique experience for tourists. (more…)

Navigating Morocco’s Medinas

Fez Morocco

A medina is generally the oldest section of a city in North Africa. Inside a medina exists the remnants of a thriving city. When the word medina is used outside of North Africa it is meant to simply imply a city or town. Artisan shops, palaces, fountains, mosques, monuments, schools and residential homes all make up the core of a medina.

The streets of Morocco’s medinas are very narrow as they were built long before motorized vehicles were even a thought. Animals, motorcycles and bicycles are the only forms of transportation that can run through most medinas. In some instances the streets were built narrow and confusing to slow down invaders.

Morocco’s medinas have been largely well preserved and most are still operational today. In the cities of Chefchaouen, Essaouira, Fez (Fes), Marrakech, Meknes, Rabat, Tangier, Taza and Tetouan, visitors can enjoy some of the oldest and most intact medinas. If you’re planning to visit, here are a few tips to make navigating Morocco’s medinas much more enjoyable: (more…)

The History of the Fez Medina

A unique, ancient, and appealing city, the Fez Medina in Morocco holds true to its definition that it once was a non-European city in Africa or the Middle East. In Morocco, medina simply means “city”. And, Fez has two: the Fes-el-Djedid (new), built in the 14th century and Fez-el-Bali (old), which was built towards the end of the late eighth century. Built by the first Muslim Dynasty, the Idrissids, the renowned medina sits on the banks of the Fez River. Locals claim that the Kairouiyine Mosque, constructed during the reign of Yahya ibn Muhammed, is one of the oldest in Africa. In 859, the University of Karueein, as it is now called, was officially founded, giving the Fez Medina one of the oldest universities in the world.

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