"FEZ : the most imperial city" Fes al Bali by venteeocho

Fes al Bali Travel Guide: 37 reviews and 102 photos

The capital of Morocco for all together more than 400 years, home of the oldest university
of the country and the leading cultural and religious centre.
Fez is also the home of the oldest an largest medieval city in the world, a city that is almost unchanged through the modern ages and still most definately alive.
The first capital of the kingdom in 808 under Idriss II, and then twice again, in the XIIIth Century under the Merinides and in the XIXth Century during the reign of Moulay Abdallah, Fez, the spiritual and cultural centre of Morocco, is a City of multiple facets quite unmatched in its splendeur Apart from the European town built after the First World War, there are two distinctly different areas of the City; Fez el Jédid ("the New") and Fez el Bali ("the Old").
In Fez el Bali there are also two distinctly different districts. In 818, several hundred Moslem families settled on the right bank of Wadi Fez, after having been expelled from Andalusia by the Christian armies. Seven years later, 300 Kerouan families established their homes on the opposite bank. The Andalousian Arabs brought with them their art and the experience of a civilisation at the very peak of its glory.

The Andalousian quarter is particularly impressive for its splendeur and its profusion of fine buildings. As if the palaces were competing with one another, each with their sculpted woodwork, engraved bronze, polychrome carving, moucharabies, columns and sculpted plasterwork. A few steps away, the mighty door of the Andalousian Mosque invites the faithful to prayer. Easily identified by its green and white minaret, the El Sahri medersa (1321) seems to be literally overflowing with luxurious decoration. All the medersas (Koranic schools) house a courtyard paved in marble or onyx that can be glimpsed through the open doors as a sanctuary of light. The voices of chanting children drift down from an open window. A sensitive ear will be able to discern in them the vibrations that link a whole people to its culture, the earth to the sky and matter to the spirit.

  • Last visit to Fes al Bali: Aug 2002
  • Intro Updated Sep 4, 2006
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