While Rabat, where I live now, is the political and administrative center of Morocco, and Casablanca the economic center, Fez (Fès in French) is instead the spiritual and cultural center. It is the old medieval capital, first founded by Moulay Idriss II around the year 800 and which reached its peak from the 13th to 15th century under the Merinids—an Islamic dynasty that ruled much of North Africa at the time.
Major cities in Morocco usually have an old-city-within-the-city, called the medina (mdina actually means “city” in Arabic). Walls usually separate the medina from the newer, French-influenced parts of the city.
The medina of Fez is one of the largest car-free urban zones in the world, and a major tourist destination in Morocco. During our NSLI-Y/YES Abroad fall trip, we spent two days in Fez, most of it in the maze-like old medina.
I let myself get lost with a camera—in fact, Kate, Catherine, and I did get lost for a few hours. Crazy tourist? Yes. But that’s okay. I loved Fez.
That’s it for now. hope you enjoyed—more pictures soon!
If you want to read more about Fez:
The Soul of Morocco – NYT article
Inside the Walls of Fez – NYT article