The imperial city of Fez is often overlooked by tourists in favour of Marrakech, but Morocco's spiritual capital is full of visitors. Here is the final part of our 10-day trip, which introduces the magnificent city itself. The medina, known as Fez el Bali, feels like a relic of another era, with its labyrinthine passages peopled by pedestrians and occasionally a donkey.
The medina began in the 800 "s, but much of what we are looking at here was established in the 13th and 14th centuries, when Fez replaced Marrakech as the Moroccan capital. The first thing you see when you walk through the main square of the city, the Grand Plaza, is the old city wall, one of the oldest in Morocco and the first of its kind.
The city wall, which was built at that time, still forms the outline of Fez el-Bali today. The planned city was built by the Merenids, and they built the old medina to reflect the wealth and confidence of their rule. Bou Inania was one of the last and most important mererenid sultans who built it, and was thus somewhat different from the other medersas infez. In the 13th and 14th centuries, FeZ grew into one of the largest cities in the world with a population of over 1.5 million people and a total area of 2,000 square kilometers. Although its development and growth seem almost organic, it was actually the first of its kind, the "Fez el Jedid" or "NewFez" building, which is the oldest part of it.
It was built at the end of the 8th century and consists of two parts, the "Fez el bali" (the old one) from the 14th century and the "Fez el Djedid" (the new one) from the 14th century, as well as the city walls.
The old town is divided into a palace area and a modern French part, and in the 20th century the French built the Ville Nouvelle. Fez is the oldest of the Moroccan imperial cities and includes Fez and is also written as Arabic Fas. The Wadi Fes flows from south to west into the Sebou River and flows through the southern part of the city to Morocco on its way to the Mediterranean Sea.
Walking through the winding medina of Fez, Morocco is like walking through a film set. Some parts are as real as they are, while others are more like the real world, but not quite as authentic as the films.
Nevertheless, wandering aimlessly through the city centre of Fez is by far the best way to get a feeling of Morocco. The surroundings of Fez are also very interesting and you can visit so many wonderful places in Morocco starting from Fez. Like the rest of Morocco it is very cheap, so It is easy to visit here and save some money. Although the Menara airport in Marrakech is more convenient, trains between Marrakech and Fezzan are as cheap and reliable as the flights.
You can also hire a private driver to pick you up from your hotel in Fez, Morocco, and take you directly to Volubilis. You can also hire private drivers to pick you up from your hotels in Fez and Morocco and take you directly to the airport in Marrakech or from there to Fezzan.
If there is only one building to look for in Fez, not to mention one to emphasize, it should be Medersa Bou Inania. It has great views of the city and its surroundings and is a must for anyone who takes note of the beautiful designs here in Fez. If you can't get enough of the tanneries in Fez, visit one of the amazing attractions in the medina, such as the Al-Azhar Tannery.
This is the main entrance to the medina, which you will also pass through the Semmarin (Medina Gate). This is one of the most beautiful buildings in the medina and also the only one in Fez that can be seen from the outside of Al-Azhar (the mosque).
Follow the slideshow below for a tour of Fez, starting at the Medersa Bou Inania, one of the most beautiful buildings in the medina. We will show you the main entrance of the city, the restored Mederaoui and the Al-Azhar Mosque, and then through the Semmarin (Medina Gate) and some other buildings before we show you some of them in detail.
As Fez's medina is car-free, the best option for the city is just a walk, but for a long weekend, stick to one of the less-frequented tourist hotspots, such as Al-Azhar Mosque or Mederaoui. Alternatively, you can walk to places like FeZ el - Jedid in 15 minutes and divide it into three different areas with different destinations for tourists and locals over a longer weekend.
If you want to know what life was like in Morocco hundreds of years ago, visit Fez, go to the museums, read history books and go on tour and visit museums. Morocco may have a reputation as a tough destination for travelers (some have even reported harassment), but in general, Morocco is polite and welcoming and hospitable. If you want to discover and rediscover the magic of Fez as an authentic Moroccan family, you have to leave Fez and drive through Rabat and Casablanca.