The Imperial city of Fes (Fez )
Founded by Moulay Idriss (I), in the 9th century, Fez reached its height in the 13th centuries under the Marinids.
It’s Morocco’s oldest and second largest city, however still possesses all the unique charm and character of a much smaller town.
The city features 2 ancient medinas, one of which Fes el Bali has been chosen a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its complicated winding architecture of alleys, courtyards, souks, as well as for containing the world’s oldest university.
The city as a whole feature many wonderful examples of Islamic architecture, from ancient houses to monumental mosques, all beautifully ornamented with tiling and arabesque patterns, making the city similar to an open-air museum.
Fez was founded under the Idrised rule during the 8th century. It consisted of two autonomous and competing settlements. The migration of more than 2000 Arab families in the early 9th century gave the nascent city an Arabic character. After the downfall of the Idrised dynasty, several empires came and went until the 11th century when the Sultan Yusuf ibn Tashfin united the two settlements and reconstructed the city, which became today’s Fes Elbali quarter. Under the Almoravid rule, the city added the reputation for the religious scholarship and the mercantile activity. Fez was expanded during the Almohadin rule and became the major city in the world during 1170-1180 with the estimated population of 250,000.
Fez is second Moroccan touristic destination after Marrakesh, visited each year by millions of tourists from the world and many tours start from it especially desert tour from Fez to Marrakesh including an overnight stay in a Berber camp in Sahara desert of Merzouga, camel trekking and sand boarding, the desert tour may also finish in fez.