A colorful visit to Fes
The cosmopolitan and intoxicating allure of Morocco has something addictive about it, whether you travel to the fascinating capital city of Casablanca or elsewhere. A colorful visit to Fes, one of the most renowned cities of Morocco, will forever change your perspective of what East and West means, of the differences, as well as of the cultural “interference” in store.
The city of Fes is currently the third largest in Morocco, is populated by around 1 million people and used to be capital city of the country. UNESCO has counted it among its Universal Heritage Sites as one of the largest car-free urban areas in the world.
Built in the Moroccan ruler Idris I at the end of the 8th century, Fes would be influenced by the Andalusian in the middle ages, especially by the Madrid dynasty. Later on, it would be conquered by the Ottomans in the 16th century only to reclaim its independence in 1790.
Today, Fes is a beautifully eclectic and colourful city. Its main attractions include the old neighbourhood, called Fes el Bali. Here, you can visit the famous and historical shopping souks, where you can buy colorful handicrafts, leather work, glass lamps of many colors, slippers and clothes. Also here you have the unique opportunity to see the traditional process of animal skin dying – although the scent may not be very appealing at first.
Other highlights in Fes include the Medersa Bou Inania, a somptuous school of Islamic learning housed in a building which was erected between 1350 and 1357 by Sultan Bou Inan. It is one of the country’s architectural gems and one of the few religious Moroccan spots where non-Muslims have access.
Morocco represents the crossroads between worlds, with the influence of the French still visible here. You can rent a car in Morocco and enjoy driving throughout the country.