Fes competes with Marrakech for the title of most visited city break destination in Morocco. That’s the nation’s cultural center and one of the best spots to visit in Morocco’s Imperial Cities to soak up the medieval atmosphere.
The main tourist attraction here is simply meandering through the high-walled medina and enjoying the ancient buildings while staying in one of the medina’s riads is the most trendy activity to do in the city.
This is Morocco’s best medieval city, with old monuments around every turn of the tortuous, tiny streets and a skyline perforated by mosques and minarets.
The Kairaouine Mosque
The Kairaouine Mosque is the second largest mosque in Morocco and one of the largest in Africa. It’s one of the most prominent sights in the Fes el-Bali medina, with a green triangular-shaped roof and two medieval minarets (one of which is the oldest Islamic monument in Fes).
The original structure, which was built in 859 by a female Tunisian refugee, has been expanded multiple times and can presently accommodate up to 20,000 people in prayer. The complex features fountains, courtyards, and one of the world’s oldest libraries, which is solely open to students.
The Kairaouine Mosque also was questionably one of the world’s oldest universities, second only to Egypt’s Al-Azhar. Non-Muslims are not permitted to enter the mosque, however, they can enjoy the courtyard from the Medersa el Attarin’s rooftop or from the gates.
The Al-Attarine Madrasa is a theological school with some of Fes’ most striking Islamic architecture, located next to the aromatic spice and perfume market in the heart of the medina. It was built in the 14th century and features a lovely rectangular courtyard that leads to a magnificent four-sided prayer hall.
With its elaborately carved plaster, Arabic writing, chiming fountains, and green and blue geometrical mosaics lining the floor and floor, this Marinid plaza is a visual treat. The madrasa’s major attraction is the courtyard, but visitors may also see the recently restored student apartments upstairs.
Bab Boujloud, unlike many of Morocco’s notable sites, is relatively new, having been completed in 1913. The stunning cobalt blue gateway with its mosaic tiles, built during the French occupation, is a large, eye-catching landmark in the medina.
The mosaics on the Bab Boujloud gateway shift color from blue on the outer wall to green on the inside wall to represent the sacred hue of Islam.
On the opposite side of the gate, you’ll discover a slew of buzzing cafés and restaurants, all of which are ideal for people-watching.
The Nejjarine museum
The Nejjarine Gallery of Wooden Handicrafts is a three-story creative museum housed in a renovated 18th-century describes the act. Explore the remarkable specimens of superb Moroccan woodwork, which range from finely carved doors to handcrafted musical instruments.
The museum, built around an exquisite central courtyard, highlights the distinctions between indigenous Amazigh forms and Fes’s typical Andalusian architecture. Examine the fascinating collection of ancient craftsman’s equipment, wooden prayer beads, medieval Amazigh keys, and even marriage ceremonies decor.
The wooden boards used among Koran memorization learners and the terrace cafe with an amazing view of the medina are highlights.