Fes

Culinary

Fes’ most delicious, and holy aspects.

The epitome of exotic cuisine. Morocco is renowned for its diverse methods of cooking. Almost every culinary artist appreciates Morocco’s antique, and savory cuisine. 

By compiling many cooking traditions; from Berbes, Spaniards, and Jewish culture, Moroccan cuisine revolutionized cooking. And thanks to its fortunate abundance of cultures, Morocco is able to create a unique, yet common to the tongue, recipes that’ll induce joy into your taste buds. In addition to Berbers, Spaniards, and the Jewish culture, Morocco’s cuisine is symbolized by its signature touch - spices.

Uncommon to foreigners, Fes makes one of the best cities to visit for a culinary adventure. A mix of sweet and savory will change your taste buds in a tasteful way. 

Experience Fes’ exotic, snail-shack filled paths, and numerous candlelit riad courtyards. You’ll notice a pervading smell of spices and food fly through the airs of Fes.

It is wise to let your senses navigate you. Walk towards what seems delicious and adventurous, and leave whenever you’re disinterested. Act like a local, and feel like one. An authentic local experience in Fes is incomparable - you’ll be within Morocco’s most sophisticated and artistic.

Cultural

Moulay Idriss Mausoleum

Moulay Idriss the 2nd is commemorated in his mausoleum of Moulay Idriss. The Zawiya of Moulay Idriss is situated just outside the Place Nejjarine, and the Moroccan people, mostly Fassis, are holding Moulay Idriss in high regard. He’s a revered Sultan who ignited the Fassi culture.

Spreading cultural models

Medrasa Attarine was built by the Sultan Abou Dazid, in the 14th-century, and it’s considered to be one of the oldest universities in the world. The Medrasa is no longer a functioning establishment. Several universities in Morocco, the Arab world, and Europe have built universities based on the Medrasa Attarine.

Fes tanneries

The tanneries are one of Fes’ most artistic, colourful, and relaxing places. They feature leather-making techniques that have been around Morocco since the middle ages. Notice the narrow paths in between each tannery, and the vibrant tanneries covered in boastful pelts. The early morning sun stenches the spot, and it becomes a little more authentic.

Clayful art

Moroccan Pottery has been introduced to the locals for generations. After long periods of artistic practice, the locals figured that they could market them to non-Moroccans. It gave their creativity a boost, especially with the historical factor on their side. The stories of how pottery came to be in Morocco are enticing and captivating. Some regarded pottery as an outlet, while some were in it merely for gainful purposes. 

Whatever the reason, Moroccans are eternally grateful for Moroccan pottery. Almost every household has a piece, gadget, and appliance that embellishes their living room.

Humble and successful beginnings

The oldest, currently operating university in the world. Al-Qarawiyying university is Fes’ most prideful possession. Fatima Al-Fihri is credited with founding the university. Needless to say, Moroccans are all gratified with her doings. Many generations have studied within its prestigious school, and the coming ones will be as fortunate as past generations thanks to Al-Qarawiyyin’s continuous educational system.

The university's library has undergone major changes and renovations. A multi-million dollar restoration to the oldest library is in effect; it will reinforce the wooden archways and restore fountains as well.

 

Fes, in the days of yore

Fes el Bali - Bali, meaning old - is the oldest walled part of Fes; hence the name. It was founded during the Idrissi dynasty between the years of 789 and 808 A.D. Al-Qarawiyying university is in Fes el Bali, which played part in making it a car-free area: it is thought that Fes El Bali to be the biggest car-free urban area in the world.

In order to conserve the city’s appeal and integrity, UNESCO has listed Fez el Bali as a World Heritage site in 1981. The Medina of Fez encompasses everything that’s dear and close to Fez.

Jewish Heritage

Ibn dannan synagogue

An old and important synagogue, not only in Fes but also in North Africa. A prominent Moroccan-Jewish family owned this synagogue in the mid-17th-century. You’ll find this synagogue in the centre of the Mellah district in Fes. 

In the 19th-century, it was renovated and embellished with many accessories that make the passers admire its gates.

Jewish cemetery

The Jewish cemetery holds many stories. Within these cemeteries, you’ll discover memorable stories about righteous people buried in small chambers. All of their stories tell of achievements and importance, with one stand-out; Sulika. The young Jewish woman who received a fatal verdict because she rejected to convert faiths and marry the Sultan.

The cemetery is covered with white arched tombstones with scribes on them. The most recent are usually written in French while the older ones are in Hebrew.

Fes the spiritual

The Arab chieftain Idriss I established Fes in 789 A.D. This noble city carries great importance to Morocco and its people. It may seem that Fes is embodying Morocco’s past and heritage; given that it’s a city from the 9th-century, major changes are taking effect.

The overwhelming demand of people made locals realise an opportunity. In effect, riads and restaurants were established, and given that Moroccans do their due diligence, they’ve also established Jewish restaurants that are kosher friendly. 

This spiritual city is about 400 kilometres away from Marrakech. And the UNESCO World Heritage medina is still a success. People, especially foreigners, seem to appreciate Fes’ modern and new side, as opposed to its spiritual and holy side.

Spiritual

The Tijaniya Zaouya

Ahmed ‘Tijany founded the Tijaniya Zaouya in 1782. This path’s doctrine was based on the teachings of the Quran and the Sunna of the Prophet Mohammed. The ‘Tijany way, Al-Tariqah Al-Tijaniya in Arabic, is the most widespread Muslim brotherhood in Africa. 

During a spiritual retreat at one of the oases in Boussemghoun, Algeria, Ahmed ‘Tijani had a vision of the prophet of Islam, ordering him to abandon his affiliations and to be his next intercessor. The authorities became concerned and started putting an effort in monitoring the self-acclaimed, prophet intercessor. Ahmed ‘Tijany planned his exile to Morocco after he got anxious about the Algerian government’s constant concern.

Fes’ koranic schools

The Koranic schools, or Medersas, play a vital role in Moroccan heritage. Morocco’s brightest minds went through these Medersas. The late King, Hassan II, had declared that every single child should be taught at a koranic school before proceeding to a regular-curriculum one. 

Besides the teachings of the Quran and theology, the Medersas of Fes contains ancient archives that belong to Moroccans and the Muslim community. These places exhibit true Moroccan-Muslim heritage and must be seen by everyone who visits Fes.

Medrasa Bou inania and Medrasa El-Attarine are two of the most prominent schools of theology and the Quran in the world. Their architecture is breathtaking, and they boast a beautiful appeal that can be enjoyed by everyone. Most of them are built like Riads, with a patio and a fountain in the middle of a roofless centre.

The floor and ceiling tiles are part of Moroccan culture, and most schools are embellished with vibrant tiles that brighten up the area.

The Derkaouiya Zaouya

Order Derkaoua was created at the end of the 18th-century. Moulay Larbi Dekaoui was born in 1760 and originated from the Bani Zeroual tribe. The Shadili way had great mystic. This Tariqa was spread all around Morocco, with disciples existing to this day. Moulay Larbi passed away in 1824 and was buried in his Zaouya of Bou Brih.

Fatherly proceedings

Moulay Idriss II did not build Fes from the bottom, his father, Moulay Idriss Zehoun began constructing Fez before passing away, and leaving his son to complete it.

Moulay Zerhoun arrived in 789, bringing with him the religion of Islam. He started a new dynasty in Morocco and founded a city that was named after him. This place has a great place in every Moroccan heart, as Moulay Idriss Zerhoun is still revered to this day.

Moulay Idriss Mausoleum

The town of Moulay Idriss is dense with narrow streets. It resembles the medinas in other Moroccan cities and spreads out the same, ancient, joyous vibe. A few metres away from the Mausoleum of Idriss the first, is a sacred destination that’s dedicated to Muslims only. Moroccans believe that six pilgrimages to the Moulay Idriss Mausoleum are equal to one pilgrimage to Mecca. Another notable landmark is its round minaret, existing only in Morocco.

Those who are fond of photography will certainly appreciate the hills around the Mausoleum. Stunning scenery is provided, with olive groves dotting the countryside and the Saiss Valley that spreads across the town.

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