Tanneries of Fez

All About Fez

Interesting Things to Do in Fez, Morocco

The city of Fes in northern Morocco is frequently referred to be the nation's cultural center. It is most renowned for its walled Fes El Bali Medina, which has medieval Marinid architecture, thriving souks, and an antique ambiance. Religious schools like the 14th-century Al Attarine and Bou Inania, which both have magnificent cedar carvings and beautiful tile work, are located in the medina.

Brief History

The memory of the capital established by the Idrisid dynasty is preserved in the Medina of Fez, in a historic section consisting of various massive buildings. The Andalous and Karouanais banks made up the two main fortified parts of the old town, which were divided by the Fez wadi. The old town already reached its present size under the Almoravid dynasty's rule after uniting the town behind a single rampart in the eleventh century. Later, a new town was established to the west of the historic one by the Merinids. Along with fortifications and residential areas, it also houses the royal palace and the army's command center.
Construction methods and decoration used in this building have evolved over a period of more than ten centuries, and it combines local knowledge and abilities with a variety of outside influences (Andalousian, Oriental, and African). One of the largest and best preserved old cities in the Arab-Muslim world is the Medina of Fez. Most of the original roles and characteristics of the urban area that is not paved are still there. It conveys a way of life, a set of skills, and a culture that endure and is refreshed despite the many influences of the developing contemporary civilizations, in addition to being a
magnificent example of architectural, archaeological, and urban heritage.


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Places of Interest


  • The University of Al-Quaraouiyine is located inside Quaraouiyine Mosque, arguably the most well-known structure in the city. It is thought to be the world's oldest university still in operation, having been founded in 859, and it is still a crucial hub of Islamic scholarship. The mosque, which can hold up to 20,000 people for prayer, is one of the biggest places of worship in Africa. The university and mosque are off limits to non-Muslims, although the library welcomed visitors in 2016. It is one of the oldest libraries still in existence, and among its books is a Qur'an from the ninth century. Through the main door, catch a sight of the mosque's courtyard.


  • All educational structures are referred to as medersas in Morocco, and the Medersa al- Attarine is one of the best in Fez. It was built in 1325 on a commission from the Marinid monarch Abu Said with the intention of housing students from the neighboring Quaraouiyine Mosque. The courtyard in particular is a masterwork of complex zellij tile work, sculpted stucco, and beautiful cedar wood woodwork, making it one of the most spectacular specimens of Maranid architecture in the city today. The building's renown as a must-see Fez destination is further enhanced by additional magnificent marble columns and exquisite Arabic calligraphy. For stunning views of the green-tiled roof of the Quaraouiyine Mosque, ascend to the roof.


  • Between 1351 to 1357, Bou Inan, a different Marinid sultan, constructed Medersa Bou Inania, which was first used as a theological school. It is the only religious structure in Fez that is accessible to non-Muslims and is still in use for religious activities. The medersa is radiant in splendor after a thorough renovation. Expect to witness exquisite cedar wood lattice screens, magnificent stucco work, and gorgeous zellij mosaics. In contrast to other medersas, Medersa Bou Inania has a complete mosque. This makes it distinct from other medersas. Even while the mosque itself isn't accessible to the general public, you can view its stunning minaret from any rooftop in the medina.


  • The Chaouwara Tannery, one of the original tanneries in Fez's leather souk, has been in operation since the Middle Ages. It is also the largest. In this place, skins are treated utilizing antiquated substances (such as cow urine, quicklime, and pigeon excrement), then spread out to dry in the sun. The middle courtyard's multicolored dyeing vats are a must-see despite the overpowering odor of ammonia and rawhide. In the morning, when the vats are still full of dye, it is ideal to enter the leather stores built into the surrounding walls for a bird's-eye view of the action and to buy soft leather products manufactured from the tannery's hides.


  • One of Fez's oldest and most stunning gardens, Jnan Sbil, is found just outside the medina walls. It was given to the public by Sultan Moulay Hassan in the 19th century and is today a refuge of calm and tranquillity and the ideal contrast to the occasionally cramped turmoil of the medina. While exploring the park's winding paths or relaxing by the opulent center fountains, you might bump into both tourists and residents. Eucalyptus and citrus tree aromas fill the air, and on hot days, slender palms offer shade. There is a sizable lake with an abundance of wildlife and a café for leisurely outside dinners.
Overview of Fez

Best time to visit Fez

We provide our recommendations for the ideal time to visit Morocco. Here's a description of the weather and a list of the finest festivals in Morocco.

The northern and coastal resort areas, which have a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and warm, wet winters, are best visited from May to September. The best time to travel to the south is between October and December because it may be quite hot in inland towns like Marrakech, Fez, and Meknes during this time. There are celebrations all year round. With the exception of a few national holidays, exact dates should be checked at your local tourism office as they vary from year to year in accordance with the Islamic calendar.

Mosque Design in Fez

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