Theme Week Morocco – Fez

Thursday, 27 July 2017 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean
Reading Time:  4 minutes

The Blue Gate © Bjørn Christian Tørrissen/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Blue Gate © Bjørn Christian Tørrissen/cc-by-sa-3.0

Fez is the second largest city of Morocco and the oldest (founded in 789) of the four imperial cities (Marrakesh, Meknes and Rabat). Fez was the capital city of modern Morocco until 1925 and is now the capital of the Fès-Meknès administrative region. The city has two old medina quarters, the larger of which is Fes el Bali. It is listed as a World Heritage Site and is believed to be one of the world’s largest urban pedestrian zones (car-free areas). University of Al Quaraouiyine, founded in 859, is the oldest continuously functioning university in the world. The city has been called the “Mecca of the West” and the “Athens of Africa”.

Place Lalla Yeddouna at the heart of the Medina is currently undergoing reconstruction and preservation measures following a design competition sponsored by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (Washington D.C.) and the Government of the Morocco. The construction projects encompass historic preservation of particular buildings, construction of new buildings that fit into the existing urban fabric and regeneration of the riverfront. The intention is to not only preserve the quality and characteristics of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, but to encourage the development of the area as a sustainable, mixed-use area for artisanal industries and local residents.

Medina © Zimaal/cc-by-sa-3.0 Medina © Salah Ghrissi/cc-by-sa-4.0 Fez el Bali © Hiroki Ogawa/cc-by-3.0 The Blue Gate © Bjørn Christian Tørrissen/cc-by-sa-3.0 Open Air Tanneries © Hiroki Ogawa/cc-by-3.0
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The Blue Gate © Bjørn Christian Tørrissen/cc-by-sa-3.0
After the fall of the Saadi dynasty (1649), Fez was a major trading post of the Barbary Coast of North Africa. Until the 19th century it was the only source of fezzes (also known as the tarboosh). Then manufacturing began in France and Turkey as well. Originally, the dye for the hats came from a berry that was grown outside the city, known as the Turkish kızılcık or Greek akenia (Cornus mas). Fez was also the end of a north-south gold trading route from Timbuktu. Fez was a prime manufacturing location for embroidery and leather goods such as the Adarga. The city became independent in 1790, under the leadership of Yazid (1790–1792) and later of Abu´r-Rabi Sulayman. In 1795 control of the city returned to Morocco. Fez took part in a rebellion in 1819-1821, led by Ibrahim ibn Yazid, as well as in the 1832 rebellion led by Muhammad ibn Tayyib. Following the implementation of the Treaty of Fez, the city was heavily damaged in the 1912 Fez riots und belonged to French Morocco until 1956. Fez was the capital of Morocco until 1925. Rabat then remained the capital even after Morocco achieved independence in 1956.

Despite its traditional character, there is a modern section: the Ville Nouvelle or “New City”. Today it is a bustling commercial center. The popularity of the Fez has increased since the King of Morocco took a computer engineer from Fez, Salma Bennani, as his wife.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on LonelyPlanet.com – Fez, Wikivoyage Fez and Wikipedia Fez. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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