Sam's Exotic Travels to Fes, a UNESCO Site
Fes or Fez is the second largest city of Morocco, following Casablanca, with a population of approximately 1 million (2010). It is the capital of the Fès-Boulemane region. It is one of the country's four "imperial cities," the others being Rabat, Marrakech and Meknes. It comprises three distinct parts, Fes el Bali (the old, walled city), Fes-Jdid (new Fes, home of the Mellah) and the Ville Nouvelle (the French-created, newest section of Fes).
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Fes el Bali - Fes el Bali (English: Old fes ) is the oldest and walled part of Fes, Morocco. Fes el Bali was orginally founded as the capital of the Idrisid Dynasty in between 789 and 808 a.d . Besides being famous for having the oldest university in the world Fes el Bali, with a total population of 156 000, is also believed to be the biggest car-free urban area in the world. Fes el Bali was listed by UNESCO as a world heritage site in 1981 under the name Medina of Fes. The world heritage site includes Fes el Bali's urban fabric and walls and a buffer zone around Fes el Bali
Leather Souk - One of the most interesting sites in Fez is the Leather Souq and the oldest leather tannery in the world. The tannery dates back at least nine centuries. The tannery is composed of numerous stone vessels filled with a vast range of dyes and various odorous liquids. The tannery processes the hides (skins) of sheep and goats, turning them into high quality leather products such as bags, coats, shoes, slippers and other similar products. This is all achieved manually, without the need for modern machinery. Men work in unbearably hot conditions (in the summer - 40 degrees and above). The tannery is a good example of mass production, a process that we often consider as being modern. The workers stand in the stone vessels arranged like honeycombs, filled with different dyes, dying the arms and legs of the men. The hides are first soaked in diluted acidic pigeon excrement and then transferred to other vessels containing vegetable dyes such as henna, saffron and mint. When the dying process has been completed the hides are dried on the roofs of the Medina.
Royal Palace - The Royal Palace comprises of 80 hectares of land and the Palace compound includes beautiful gardens, mosques and also an ancient Madrassa or a school for Koranic studies that whose origin can be traced back to 14th century. General public are barred from entering the Palace but they are even an impressive sight even from outside. The garden doors are famous for their Giant Brass knockers that were made by special artisans from Fes El Bali. The Palace is also famous for the golden doors. Dal el Qimma, a palace in the Royal Palace is also renowned for its beautifully painted ceilings and intricate mosaic works.
The palace was built in the 17th century and it is situated right in the center if Fes el Jdid. Part of it still serves as the residence of the king of Morocco when he visits this area. The royal palace is now home to innumerable valuable artifacts from all over morocco and includes carpets that come from Rabat, samples of pottery, silk fabrics, firearms and also ancient manuscripts. The museum houses a life-sized model of a Carthaginian tomb and also a pristine necropolis. Don't regret your not being able to enter the Palace. It's worth a view even from outside. The palace is of great historical value and is one of the major attractions of Fez.
Street Scenes - My views of Fes including other sights
People of Fes - The wonderful people of Fes
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