Built in 1913 "Bab Boujeloud" (Blue Gate) is the main gate of the Medina. This beautiful gate, leads you towards the Talaa Kebira Street. The "staircase" leads directly to the center of the medina of Fez el-Bali.
North of Bab Boujloud is the mighty Bab Chorfa. In front of the Chorfa gate, there is a small market, which has remained very originally. Fruits, vegetables and household items are sold at the busy market.
The tomb of "Moulay Idriss II" is probably the largest sanctuary in town. Moulay Idriss II was the founder of Fès. The Mausoleum built in the 18th century is only accessible for Muslims.
Horm (Holy District)
The mosque "Al Quaraouiyine" or "Karaouiyne" was commissioned in 859 by Fatima Mohammed el-Fihri and was also the first university in the country. In the huge prayer room, there is space for 20,000 believers.
Fez is famous for its many beautiful fountains. A particularly beautiful fountain, with magnificent cellji tiles, is located near the "Nejjarine" square on the "Talaa Kebira". Among the wealthy merchants, it was customary to donate wells for public use.
Through the old town gate of "Bab Smarine" one reaches the main street of "Fes El-Jedid", which was established around 1276 as a government district of the Merinids. Next to the gate is the market Marché El-Jedid. The main road, "Grande Rue de Fes", runs from the "Bab Smarine" to the "Méchouar de Bab Dekaken".
Next to the Bab Smarine is the "Marché El-Jedid". The market should not be part of a tourist program of hygienists, vegetarians, people who are sensitive to odors or who can not stand the sight of animal parts. It's a different kind of shopping experience under a beautiful barrel vault.
The parade ground surrounded by high walls in "Fez El-Jedid" is also known as Méchouar de Bab Dekaken (Paradesquare at the court gate). If you walk from "Fez- El-Jedid" to the Bab Boujeloud, you will pass throuh this walled courtyard.
The Dar El Makhzen Royal Palace is surrounded by high walls in Fes El-Jedid and is still used by the royal family, when they visited Fes. The palace is not open to the public, but the beautiful Gate is worth a visit.
The "Fondouk el Nejjarine" is a caravanserai from the 18th century, it is one of the most beautiful buildings in Fez. The site has been recognized by the UNESCO as a World Heritage site. Today it is used as Musée du Bois (Wood Museum), where the craftsmanship of local artisans can be seen. The inner courtyard of the caravanserai was renovated in 1998 and is in very good condition. It is one of the most beautiful buildings in Fez and famous for its rich wooden decorations.
In ancient vats, animal skins are tanned and processed into leather. The view on the tanneries remains memorable not only because of the strong odor. There are several rooftop cafes around, from where you can enjoy the view.
The covered "Souk El Attarine" is one of the best known markets in the city. The markets in Fez are organized according to the goods offered there. The "Souk El Attarine" is the famous spice market ans one of the main attractions of Fez.
"The Place Rsif" is the only large square in the medina of Fez. If one finally comes out of the narrow, dark, crowded streets on a open square with light and air, it is as if a diver snaps for air. So if you are tired of the hustle and bustle, just relax here for a while, before you dive back into the medina.
A Medersa is a koranschool, which belongs to the mosque. They also serve as accommodation of the pupils. The "Medersa Bou Inania" was built in 1355 by Sultan Abou Inan. Architecturally it is a typical example from the time of the Merenids. The base is made of colorful celli tiles, the walls are decorated with filigree stucco decorations and the upper wall is made of cedar wood decorations. The "Medersa Bou Inania" is one of the most famous buildings of Fez and a major tourist attraction (open to everyone).
The Immigrants from Andalusia, driven out of Cordoba, by the Umayyads around 818, gave the district its name "Andalous". The mosque dates back to the 13th century, it was built under the rule of Mohammed el-Nasser. Non-Muslims can not enter the mosque, they can only enjoy the beautiful northern gate of the "Jamaa Andalous Mosque".
The "Merinid tombs" are on the hillside, north of Fez El-Bali. The Merinids ruled Morocco from 1250-1465 and Fez was the capital of their empire. The "Merinid tombs" are quite old and partly decayed but the view over the city is perfect from up here.
Welcome to Fès
Fes is known for its narrow streets in the medina. The old town of Fes el-Bali was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1981. Fes consists of three parts. Fès-el-Bali with the Medina, "Fès el-Jedid" with the Royal Palace and the "Ville Nouvelle" of the French colonial power.
It is almost impossible not to get lost in the medina of "Fes-el-Bali". But that doesn't matter, you can just let yourself drift and discover the most beautiful corners. The main street Talaa Kebira and the minarets serve as a guide. Most of the top attractions are located along the main streets. You shouldn't miss the view of the tanneries even if the smell is bad. The viewing terraces are often operated by traders who lure tourists to the roof terraces to sell their goods. But you don't have to buy anything. If that is uncomfortable for you, you should choose a rooftop restaurant.