Fez - the heart of Morocco

Fez - the heart of Morocco – main image

After Marrakesh and Casablanca, Fez, one of the most famous cities in this exotic country, should also be on the list of must-see points for a trip around Morocco. It is here that the University of al-Karaouine (al-Qarawiyyin) is located, according to the Guinness Book of Records and UNESCO, the oldest university in the world. Also in this city you will find the world's largest medina, the sight of which will make you nystagmus and perhaps even claustrophobic. After returning to Poland, even the owner of a very cramped studio will look at his apartment differently, surprised by its spaciousness.

Fragrances of Fez

Fez is a place full of colors and fragrances, and more precisely, a blaze of colors and an amazing combination of oriental aromas and… unmerciful smell. This odor is exceptionally intense above the tanneries and dye works that the city is famous for. Despite the dubious pleasure of communing with the aroma of tanned hides, the tanneries themselves are very eagerly visited by tourists because of their extremely intriguing appearance. The walk between the dyeing pits resembles an ant's walk on the palette of a giant painter. Pits flooded with dyes together with hard-working tanners covered with paint are an unforgettable sight for a tourist from Europe.

In order not to leave the impression that only people without the sense of smell will feel good in Fez, it is enough to whisper a word about the local cuisine. Deliciously aromatic, rich in spices, colors and shapes dishes served by restaurants and pubs will charm every tourist who likes to experiment. Harira , i.e. lamb, lentil, chickpea and broad bean soup, served with a date cake or with dates only, awaits the meeting with the taste buds. Bissara, made of mixed broad beans, lemon and garlic, will also give you strength to explore the city.

The green of the soup harmonizes well with the green of the mint tea , which is often drunk here. Besides, mint itself will be a frequent companion of our journeys - be it in the form of a drink or an inhaler that will save the nose from the aforementioned tannery aromas.

Attractions in the heart of Morocco

The already mentioned medina, the old part of the city with a lot of stalls selling spices and perfumes, is also full of various smells. It consists of a huge labyrinth of winding and narrow streets with unhurriedly loaded donkeys, numerous mosques and squares with fountains, as well as luxurious hotels and tiny restaurants. Everywhere we are surrounded by craft workshops, stalls and smaller or larger cookers. There are tiny streets leading from the main streets, which you sometimes have to squeeze through. The whole thing is wrapped up like a thick chain by walls with gates, crowned with solid defense towers. It is worth knowing that the Medina of Fez has been on the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage List since 1981.

We will get to it by crossing one of several gates. The most popular is Bab Bu Jalud , a green, gold and blue gate, intricately decorated with zujaj ceramic tiles. Their intricate ornamentation does not allow you to tear your eyes off, so most tourists stand in front of it for a long time, feeding their eyes with the rich design and shine of the tiles.

A huge attraction of Fez is also the Museum of Moroccan Art . We can find them on the border of the old and new parts of the city. A delicious late-medieval palace built in Spanish style attracts tourists with a wonderful collection of exhibits, many of which come from madrasahs and mosques that do not exist today. What will we see in the spacious halls of the museum? Famous blue-colored pottery, impressive pottery collections, Berber rugs, colorful carpets and textiles. In addition to the splendor of the structure and the wealth of exhibits hidden in it, visitors to the museum are also delighted with a charming garden in the courtyard in the Andalusian style.

A breath of the orient

The most beautiful panorama of Fez is from the rooftops of Bou Inania , one of the city's most famous madrasahs, or Koranic schools. It is one of the few Moroccan religious buildings that can be visited, so when you are in Fez, it is really worth visiting. Just like the madrassa Al-Attarine, located near the oldest university in the world. The richly decorated interior of the building catches the eye, stunning with the abundance of design and attention to detail. Its roof offers a beautiful view of the courtyard of the famous university, and the walls of the madrassa hide extremely valuable library collections, including Jewish and Arabic manuscripts.

Willing to stay longer in the city itself or its vicinity, they have a huge selection of hotels and guesthouses of various standards. They can also stay at one of the few nearby campsites, for example at the huge Camping International Fez . It is located 700 meters from the borders of Fez, and the accommodation costs about 11 euros (per berth for a vehicle, stay of 2 people, access to electricity and hot water).

And what next? At a distance of about 200 km from Fez, there is the capital, Rabat, and a little further for tourists thirsty for the Orient, Tangier awaits. Refreshed, refreshed, we can move on towards the Moroccan adventure.

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A writer by profession, a passion of a cat. One day he will see what is behind the Urals - good to Vladivostok. So far, when he can, he enjoys the sun of the countries of southern Europe. And it's also fun;)

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