• Yu "Fish" Cui

Fez: Soak in History and Culture

Updated: Mar 16, 2019


Fez is another jewel of Morocco. It is the center of leather crafts and carries on the history of this country. I have seen many people compare Fez to Marrakech. Yes, both of these two old cities carry Moroccan's rich history and culture. But they still have their own charms. Fez is a wonderful place that has so many to see. Every place we visited has left unforgettable memories for me.


Royal Palace of Fez

On the way to the medina, we stopped at the Royal Palace and briefly appreciated the golden gates. I was constantly amazed by the details in Morrocan architecture. The decoration on the gates is so refined.



Medina & Chouara Tannery

The medina in Fez was equally intricate, but unfortunately, this time we did get lost. Google maps didn't work well here and we spent hours trying to find a way back to the main streets. But none of this affected my excitement for visiting the tannery, which is where local people dye leather. Many leather shops' second floor has a clear view of the Chouara tannery. We went into one that allowed us to have a visit for free. The shop owner gave us mints to stuff our nose because the smell is strong here. And he kindly talked us through all the process of crafting leather products. Seeing the tannery and learning about the dying process was one of the most unforgettable experiences. It was so amazing to see that people in Fez still carry on the tradition. The tannery was hands down the most astonishing places I visited on this trip. It is a place you can't miss!



Bou Inania Madrasa

The fascinating part about Fez is that this city gathers the most exquisite crafts of Morocco. The tannery has already left me speechless. After that, we visited Bou Inania Madrasa, where used to be a well-respected educational institution. Seeing this place made me wonder what would be the top of Morrocan architecture? All the places I have visited blew my mind with the colors and details. And yet, the Madrasa welcomed me with its elegant, pure, magnificent beauty that belongs to another level.

The madrasa is one of the few religious places in Morocco that is open to non-Islamic visitors, which makes me so grateful to get a glimpse of the extraordinary beauty of the religious culture.




Volubilis

The next day, we took a day trip to Volubilis, a Roman ruin, from Fez. When I stood among all the remains of gates and pillars, I felt I was traveling back in time, to a completely different place. Some of the mosaics paintings on the ground are still kept. From the shapes of what is left, I could imagine how magnificent this city used to be. This is a completely different experience from the Morrocan history we've immersed ourselves in. Each site at Volubilis was telling people about Rome's mark on Morrocan history.




Where We Stayed

We stayed at Riad Dar Al Andalous when we visited Fez. It is in a traditional Moroccan hotel with an awesome breakfast. I was so in love with all the decorations in the house. Try to stay in a riad when you visit Morocco. It was definitely one of the highlights of my trip!






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