Fes Things to Do

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Most Recent Things to Do in Fes

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    Bou Inania Medrassa

    by keeweechic Written Mar 12, 2009

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    Built between 1350 and 1355, this is the largest Medrassa every built by the Merinids and the most highly decorated. The Sultan Abou Inan was actually the one that ordered the construction. The complex incorporates a mosque, school and students residence. It is the only Medrassa in all of Morocco which has a pulpit and minaret.

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    First University in Morocco

    by keeweechic Written Mar 11, 2009

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    The mosque is right in the heart of the Medina and while not easy to see from outside because of its location, from up above it can be identified by the rows of green roofs. It is the second largest mosque in North Africa and the first university to be established in Morocco.

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    Karaouiyine Mosque

    by keeweechic Written Mar 11, 2009

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    The Karaouyine Mosque was established in 859 making it one of the oldest in the country and one of the most distinguished. The mosque name comes in a variety of spellings such as Qarawiyin, Karouine and Karaouine and has been thought of as the spiritual centre of Fez. As with most mosques, non-Muslims cannot go inside but can see a little inside from the main door.

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    Bab Semmarine

    by keeweechic Written Mar 11, 2009

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    Bab Semmarine was originally called Uyune Sanhaja which means Springs of Sanhaja after an important Berber tribe of Morocco. It was built during the 13th century and modified during the 20th century to allow pedestrians and traffic through.

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    Fez - World Heritage Site

    by keeweechic Written Mar 11, 2009

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    Fez was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1980 to try and help preserve the city. The walls around Fez run for about 20 kilometres, many have been undergoing restoration as part of the overall $600 million restoration of the Medina. There are also some 13,385 historic buildings and around 3,000 historic monuments in the city.

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    Museum of Wooden Arts

    by keeweechic Updated Mar 11, 2009

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    The Musee du Bois or Museum of Wood is in Place el-Nejjarine and is one of the most famous buildings in Fez. Built during the 14th century and now classed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the building has been restored and is now run privately as a Museum of Wood. Displays include wooden woodworking tools from the 18th and 19th century as well as antique furniture and doors.

    Open from 10.00am to 7.00pm

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    Royal Walls

    by keeweechic Written Mar 11, 2009

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    The Palace complex is enclosed by high walls. Within those walls are beautiful gardens and a number of buildings which are built around large courtyards. The Dar el-Bahia is an official building which holds Arab summit meetings. There are mosques and a school for Koranic studies as well as a Medersa which was built in 1320.

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    Famous Doors

    by keeweechic Written Mar 11, 2009

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    The Moorish arches and golden doors to the Palace compound are probably the most photographed in the city with the beautiful bronze filligree knockers. The doors which are engraved with a geometric pattern are known as the ‘Gate of Nehass’. There are 7 bronze gates in all to the complex. Beautiful Zelij tiles surround the doors and arches.

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    Dar el Makhzen (Royal Palace)

    by keeweechic Written Mar 11, 2009

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    The Dar el Makhzen or Royal Palace of Fez covers more than 80 hectares right in the centre of Fes el Jedid (the New Fez). The Palace was built during the 17th century and is home to the King of Morocco when he is in the city. Unfortunately the Palace is not open to the public.

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    Dyed Leather

    by keeweechic Written Mar 11, 2009

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    The dyed leather is used to create decorative babouches and pouffes and embroidered bags and clothing which are then sold in the souks. There is a rather cramped shop which is within the tannery and of course they are only too willing to help you select something.

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    White Vats

    by keeweechic Written Mar 11, 2009

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    The white vats are where the skins sit for a number of days while the flesh and hairs are removed in water and lime before being dried out to go onto the next process of dying. Skins come from goats, cows, sheep and camels.

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    Generations of Experience

    by keeweechic Written Mar 11, 2009

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    Workers, all male, performing this kind of work of course suffer health problems but generations work at these tanneries and have done so as a profession since the middle ages, all mostly using the same method.

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    Huge Vats

    by keeweechic Written Mar 11, 2009

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    You will see huge earthen vats, row upon row, side by side – something like a honeycomb appearance. All day workers stand knee-deep or higher in coloured chemicals of varying shades of reds and browns predominantly. The dye colours come from mint, poppies, tumeric and indigo.

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    Rooftop Viewing

    by keeweechic Written Mar 11, 2009

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    You climb a narrow stone staircase up onto the roof. Before you go you are offered sprigs of mint to help with the smell which can be overwhelming if you’re not used to it or if the weather enhances it. I took the mint but didn’t actually need it although others were definitely uncomfortable. The smell comes mainly from the pigeon droppings used in the curing process because of the ammonia. Cow urine is also used.

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    Tanneries

    by keeweechic Written Mar 11, 2009

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    Make sure you visit a tannery while in Fez, there are a few of them, the largest being in Chouwara but there is also one near Place en Nejjarin. You enter via a narrow lane and doorway. Here they explain to you the process of the tanning.

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Fes Things to Do

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