Fez – The cultural and spiritual hub of Morocco
Fez is the cultural and spiritual hub of Morocco, that has stood the test of time and has managed to retain its imperialistic charm. It is situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea and has been designated by the UNESCO as a World Heritage site.
Fez is a study in contrast. The medina in Fez may always seem to be in a state of wild disarray, thereby making some tourists love it at the first go and making some others uncomfortable and edgy. The medina of Fes el-Bali hasn’t upgraded itself for modern architecture and is also known as the world’s largest car-free urban zone. The only vehicles that you will notice inside are donkey carts and handcarts.
If you are wondering that this may be a difficult tourist place to go to, let us tell you that we haven’t started talking about the good things yet! These small, nondescript lanes from inside the medina lead to town squares where you can enjoy the intricate work of exquisite artists, indulge in delectable food, and witness some grand structures.
Fez is also opening its door to modernity, and there are lots of 5-Star accommodations and resorts coming up in its neighborhood. Despite the modernization, what will enchant you is the old-world architecture that still prevails in different parts of the city. There are wonderfully designed mosques such as Medersa Bou Inania and Medersa el-Attarine, that even though don’t open their door to non-Muslims, can be seen from outside. The complexly done tile work is an absolute artistic delight.
The King’s Palace, Saadian Tombs, and Jewish quarters are other well known places of interest that one can explore. The King’s Palace is open only to the members of the Royal family. Others can enjoy viewing it from outside. Another noteworthy thing is that the city is full of fountains, just like important kingdom cities used to be way back in time. And given that it is still traditional, both men and women should cover themselves well when they are exploring the city.
Contrary to what the world believes, the world’s oldest university is not anywhere else but at Fez. The University of Al-Qarawiyyin is supposed to have been established in 859 AD, and UNESCO granted it a heritage status. There are so many more places to visit in Fez, such as the ancient tanneries, and the colorful bazaars. Make sure you are carrying your camera along!