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Fes Medina (Fes El Bali)

Tue, Dec 8, 2009


Culturally-rich Fes el Bali

Fes el Bali is a part and parcel of Fes, a third biggest city of Morocco. Fes el Bali, also known as the ‘old town’, is designated as World Heritage site by UNESCO.  The city has around nine thousand lanes that consist of residential areas, workshops, markets. Blend of tiny streets as well as huge alleys, all the parts of the city are consisting of five structures and these include a mosque, a Medersa, a bakery, a coffee shop and public bath.


The city was discovered by Idris I, Idrisid dynasty’s founder, around Fez River’s opposite banks during 693. It was looked after by Idris II, Idris I’s son, till 810. Known as the cultural and sacred powerhouse of Morocco, its Medina is regarded as the largest in the region. If talking about the city than mentioning name of the Al-Qarawiyin Theological University is a must.  The University is the oldest university worldwide and it came into existence during 857 AD. Kairouyine mosque, one of the ancient and biggest mosques in Africa also exists here.

The must-visit monuments

Souk Dabbaghin’s tanneries

Once in the old city, you cannot go back without taking a look at the creative leather work executed by the artists. In the Souk Dabbaghin vicinity, one will be able to see loads of leather as the premises comprise numerous tanneries. In an attempt to see the leather works, you can go to the any leather shops.

The  Museums

The old city contains three prominent museums and these are:

The Dar Batha Museum: it contains pieces of ancient traditional artwork.

The Belghazi Museum is located in a palace and here also you can take a look at breathtaking artworks.

Nejarine Museum of Wooden Arts and Crafts- Be at this place to take a look at its magnificent structure.

Kairaouine Mosque & the University of Al-Karaouine

Located in the center of the Old Town, it can accommodate around 20,000 people for offering prayers. Its library is one of the ancient in the world. The Al-Karaouine that came into existence in 859 is part of the mosque. The University also holds many valuable manuscripts of the primeval period. Many legendary scholars were attached with the University. Among all, it became a mode to exchange cultural thoughts between Europeans and Muslims.


The Medersa el-Attarine is the place from where you could be able to take glimpses of the entire Old Town. It introduces you with brilliant art of Merenid. Similarly Medersa Bou Inania came into existence during 1300’s and here you can see Merenid artwork created from wood and plaster.

Jewish quarter

It also contains a Jewish quarter namely the Mellah. The structure’s architect is totally different from other buildings of the city.

Zaouia Moulay Idriss II

Regarded as a sacred place, its construction work was completed in the year 1824. The shrine premises contain remains of Moulay Idriss II, who founded the Fez city. It is believed that visiting the place could be lucky.

If you want to explore the city with the help of a guide, than don’t worry as you will get the guides outside the hotels and that too in a reasonable price. As far as accommodation is concerned than the city contains handful of hotels hence, you should book the hotels in advance.

Reaching and exploring


The city contains Saïss Airport.

By Train

You will get the train services from Ville Nouvelle.

By Bus

There are three bus routes and these include the main bus station, the Ville Nouvelle, and the Medina.

By Taxi

Known as grand taxi, you can opt for the taxi service from almost four parts of the city.

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