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Fes Travel Guide, Morocco

Fes is called the “holly city” by the locals and considered one of the most important cities in the country. But its importance goes far beyond the country’s borders and its religious, cultural and economic importance was and is recognized worldwide.

Fes is on the list with the world’s heritage sites for more reasons. One of them is its age. It is like any other city in the world but it is older and it contains the oldest university in the world that was established in 859. What makes it special besides its age is its position that made it perfect for traders and the growing trade made the city wealthy. Its population grew very quickly and now you can see a conglomerate of houses made of stone. If you walk up one of the hills nearby you can have a bird’s eye view of the city and see that there is little space between the houses, streets are very narrow and probably the squares and markets are the widest areas.

The panorama is quite different from that of a city nowadays; it really gives you the feel of its age. Some rooftops are green, that is quite evident as most of the houses are light brown, that’s why the city is called the “Emerald City”.

The city remained a magnet for cultural and religious life. The old imperial city in the center of Fes is called Medina and it was forbidden to the visitors. Now you can visit it but it is a real labyrinth, there are hundreds of streets with no names and they are not even numbered. They are all narrow and short and no vehicles are allowed only the donkeys are used for transporting goods and they have rubber hoofs as to diminish the sound they make when walking on the streets. There are around 123 areas in the city so you can imagine how many streets there are, they are over a thousand, but nobody counted them.

Some houses have an interesting balcony that is has little holes thus preventing anybody from seeing who is in the balcony. It was made so to prevent visitors from seeing the women if they happened to be there.

Being a great religious center, Fes has a mosque to match its importance. There is even a wooden log that is positioned horizontally at the entrance at a low height and makes people bow whether they want it or not.

There are barracks in the street that sell all types of products. They are not very classy! Even if many won’t feel like eating anything from there, it is worth trying the camel meat. Locals use it a lot and it is leaner than the beef and less fatty. Even the hump is used. The butchers have to be very faithful Muslims that pray 5 times a day and when they sacrifice the animal they turn towards dawn and say a prayer to their god.

There is a delicatessen that is worth tasting, the pancakes made in the street. Locals eat them at breakfast and put honey, cheese or other ingredients.

The traditional soup eaten here and everywhere in the country is called Harira, the Moroccan national soup. This soup is especially eaten at Ramadan in the evening.

Fes is a city with a rich historical, cultural and religious heritage, one of the most important cities in Morocco and a unique experience to see how people lived hundreds of years ago as today there’s not much difference in their daily life.

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  • davidsbeenhereTannery
    travel tip by davidsbeenhere posted more then 30 days ago
    The infamous Tannery is the location where all leather is made in Morocco. There are Tanneries in many cities but the Fes Tannery is famous and you can get a great look at it from the many shops and restaurants the look over it. The only...
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