Fèz is a maze of stone, marble and plaster surrounded by orchards. An aura of 1001 nights lingers here, but as the spiritual centre of Morocco, the old town lives in the shadow of the minarets, sprawling outwards from the mosque like a spider web of alleys, houses and shops. From their workshops in back alleys potters, charcoal burners, goldsmiths and weavers still practice their ancient trades for busy shops and stores in the crowded streets. Well over 1000 years old, the Jewish quarter, or mellah, has long had a reputation for producing some of the finest ironwork in the country, whilst in the suburb of the leather tanners ancient methods and facilities are still used to treat and dye hides.
There is always something to see in this lively and colourful city that is full of contrast. Originally founded in the 8th century, the city’s importance goes back many centuries, when it was the principal city linking the Mediterranean with the Sahara.
The old part of the city, with its donkeys, taxis, traffic jams, smells, etc. Here, there is a mini neighbourhood for every craft, but the most interesting and colourful is the 'Tanners Souk', although the smell can be distracting. It does make you think of the 'worst job in the world
A beautiful gate that offers the best entrance into the medina. Glazed tiles decorate the upper part to create a stunning effect
Long the biggest religious structure in Morocco, it was founded in the 9th century in the heart of the medina. 14 doors in the walls enable the 20,000 faithful who can pray here to enter and exit without ‘traffic jams’.
The tomb of Moulay Idris is a highly revered shrine. At the entrance, women pass offerings through a hatch, which is also as close as a non-Muslim can get.