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Fes or Fez is the second largest city of Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

, after Casablanca
Casablanca
Casablanca is a city in western Morocco, located on the Atlantic Ocean. It is the capital of the Grand Casablanca region.Casablanca is Morocco's largest city as well as its chief port. It is also the biggest city in the Maghreb. The 2004 census recorded a population of 2,949,805 in the prefecture...

, with a population of approximately 1 million (2010). It is the capital of the Fès-Boulemane
Fès-Boulemane
Fès-Boulemane ) is one of the sixteen regions of Morocco. It is situated in northern Morocco. It covers an area of 19,795 km² and has a population of 1,573,055 . The capital is Fès....

 region.

Fes, the former capital, is one of the country's four "imperial cities," the others being Rabat
Rabat
Rabat , is the capital and third largest city of the Kingdom of Morocco with a population of approximately 650,000...

, Marrakech
Marrakech
Marrakech or Marrakesh , known as the "Ochre city", is the most important former imperial city in Morocco's history...

 and Meknes
Meknes
Meknes is a city in northern Morocco, located from the capital Rabat and from Fes. It is served by the A2 expressway between those two cities and by the corresponding railway. Meknes was the capital of Morocco under the reign of Moulay Ismail , before it was relocated to Marrakech. The...

. It comprises three distinct parts, Fes el Bali
Fes el Bali
Fes el Bali is the oldest and walled part of Fes, Morocco. Fes el Bali was originally founded as the capital of the Idrisid Dynasty in between 789 and 808 AD...

 (the old, walled city), Fes-Jdid
Fes Jdid
Fes Jdid is one of the 3 parts of Fes, Morocco. It was founded by the Marinids in 1276 as an extension to Fes el Bali....

 (new Fes, home of the Mellah
Mellah
A mellah is a walled Jewish quarter of a city in Morocco, an analogue of the European ghetto...

) and the Ville Nouvelle (the French-created, newest section of Fes).

Fes el Bali is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

. Its medina
Medina quarter
A medina quarter is a distinct city section found in many North African cities. The medina is typically walled, contains many narrow and maze-like streets...

, the larger of the two medinas of Fes, is believed to be the world's largest contiguous car-free urban area. The University of Al-Karaouine, founded in AD 859, is the oldest continuously functioning university in the world. The city has been called the "Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

 of the West" and the "Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

 of Africa".

History



The city was founded on a bank of the Fez River by Idris I
Idris I
Idris I was the first ruler and founder of the Idrisid Dynasty, ruling from 788 to 791 AD. He is credited with founding the dynasty that was instrumental in the early Islamization of Morocco.-History:...

 in 789, founder of the Zaydi Shi'ite
Zaidiyyah
Zaidiyya, or Zaidism is a Shi'a Muslim school of thought named after Zayd ibn ʻAlī, the grandson of Husayn ibn ʻAlī. Followers of the Zaydi Islamic jurisprudence are called Zaydi Shi'a...

 Idrisid dynasty. His son, Idris II
Idris II
Idris II was son of Idris I, the founder of the Idrisid dynasty in North Africa. He was born in Volubilis two months after the death of his father.-History:...

 (808)., continued the building on the opposing river bank.

Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 emigration to Fes, including 800 Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus was the Arabic name given to a nation and territorial region also commonly referred to as Moorish Iberia. The name describes parts of the Iberian Peninsula and Septimania governed by Muslims , at various times in the period between 711 and 1492, although the territorial boundaries...

ian families expelled after a rebellion in Córdoba
Córdoba, Spain
-History:The first trace of human presence in the area are remains of a Neanderthal Man, dating to c. 32,000 BC. In the 8th century BC, during the ancient Tartessos period, a pre-urban settlement existed. The population gradually learned copper and silver metallurgy...

 in 817–818, and other 2,000 families banned from Kairouan
Kairouan
Kairouan , also known as Kirwan or al-Qayrawan , is the capital of the Kairouan Governorate in Tunisia. Referred to as the Islamic Cultural Capital, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city was founded by the Arabs around 670...

 (modern Tunisia) after another rebellion in 824, gave the city a definite Arab character. 'Adwat Al-Andalus and 'Adwat al-Qarawiyyin, the two main quarters of Fes, got their names after these two waves of Arab immigrants to the new city. During Yahya ibn Muhammad
Yahya ibn Muhammad
Yahya ibn Muhammad was the fifth Idrisid ruler and sultan of Morocco. A son of previous sultan Muhammad ibn Idris, he took over the rule in Morocco after the death of his heirless uncle Ali I in 848...

's rule the Kairouyine mosque
Mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

, one of the oldest and largest in Africa, was built, together with the associated University of Al-Karaouine was founded (859).

After Ali ibn Umar
Ali ibn Umar
Ali ibn Umar was the seventh Idrisid ruler and sultan of Morocco. He took over after the death of Yahya II in 874 CE. During his rule, Idrisid lost their capital, Fes. He died in 883 CE.-References:...

 (Ali II) came to power, the Berber tribes of Madyuna, Gayatha and Miknasa, which were Sufrite Kharijites
Kharijites
Kharijites is a general term embracing various Muslims who, while initially supporting the authority of the final Rashidun Caliph Ali ibn Abi Talib, the son-in-law and cousin of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, then later rejected his leadership...

, formed a common front against the Idrisid. When they had defeated Ali's armies, they occupied Fes. They were driven out of the city by Yahya ibn Al-Qassim
Yahya ibn Al-Qassim
Yahya ibn Al-Qassim was the eighth Idrisid ruler and sultan of Morocco. He took over after the death of Ali II in 880. He died in 904.-References:...

, who declared himself Ali's successor.

The city was populated by Muslims from elsewhere in North Africa and the Middle East, Morisco
Morisco
Moriscos or Mouriscos , meaning "Moorish", were the converted Christian inhabitants of Spain and Portugal of Muslim heritage. Over time the term was used in a pejorative sense applied to those nominal Catholics who were suspected of secretly practicing Islam.-Demographics:By the beginning of the...

s (especially after the Spanish conquest of Granada in 1492). Many Jews did also settle in the city, in their own quarter
Ghetto
A ghetto is a section of a city predominantly occupied by a group who live there, especially because of social, economic, or legal issues.The term was originally used in Venice to describe the area where Jews were compelled to live. The term now refers to an overcrowded urban area often associated...

, the Mellah
Mellah
A mellah is a walled Jewish quarter of a city in Morocco, an analogue of the European ghetto...

. Before that, most of the city's population was of Berber descent, with rural Berbers from the surrounding countryside settling the city throughout its history, mainly in the Andalusian quarter and later in the 'new city' of Fes.

The two halves of Fes were united in 1069, after the destruction of the wall dividing them. Although the capital was moved to Marrakech
Marrakech
Marrakech or Marrakesh , known as the "Ochre city", is the most important former imperial city in Morocco's history...

 and Tlemcen
Tlemcen
Tlemcen is a town in Northwestern Algeria, and the capital of the province of the same name. It is located inland in the center of a region known for its olive plantations and vineyards...

 under the Almoravids, Fes remained the scientific and religious center, where both Muslims and Christians from Europe came to study. In 1250 it regained its capital status under the Marinid dynasty.

In 1465 a large massacre of Jews was caused by Arab riots.)

In the Early Modern Age, the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 came close to Fes after the conquest of Oujda in the 16th century. In 1554 the Wattasid Dynasty took Fes with the support of the Turks, and the city became a vassal of the Ottomans, who finally conquered it in 1579 under sultan Murad III
Murad III
Murad III was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1574 until his death.-Biography:...

.

The Ottoman power in North Africa focused on threats posed by the Habsburg Spain and the Portuguese Kingdom. As a result, Fes was not under pressure from the Ottoman rulers. The conquest of Fes was the catalyst for the move of the capital city of the Saadi Dynasty to Marrakech
Marrakech
Marrakech or Marrakesh , known as the "Ochre city", is the most important former imperial city in Morocco's history...

. Early in the 17th century the town returned to Moroccan control under Ahmad al Mansur.

After the fall of the Saadi Dynasty
Saadi Dynasty
The Saadi dynasty of Morocco , began with the reign of Sultan Mohammed ash-Sheikh in 1554, when he vanquished the last Wattasids at the Battle of Tadla....

 (1649), Fes was a major trading post of the Barbary Coast
Barbary Coast
The Barbary Coast, or Barbary, was the term used by Europeans from the 16th until the 19th century to refer to much of the collective land of the Berber people. Today, the terms Maghreb and "Tamazgha" correspond roughly to "Barbary"...

 of North Africa. Until the 19th century it was the only source of Fez hats (also known as the tarboosh). Then manufacturing began in France and Turkey as well. Originally, the dye for the hats came from a berry that was grown outside the city, known as the Turkish "kızılcık" or Greek "akenia" (Cornus mascula
European Cornel
The European Cornel is a species of dogwood native to southern Europe and southwest Asia. In North America, the plant is known by the common name of Cornelian Cherry....

). Fes was also the end of a north-south gold trading route from Timbuktu
Timbuktu
Timbuktu , formerly also spelled Timbuctoo, is a town in the West African nation of Mali situated north of the River Niger on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert. The town is the capital of the Timbuktu Region, one of the eight administrative regions of Mali...

. Fes was also a prime manufacturing location for leather goods such as the Adarga
Adarga
The adarga was a hard leather shield used originally by the Moors of Spain, its name derived from the Arabic "al-daraqa" . An important center of manufacture of the adarga was the city of Fes, Morocco...

.

The city became independent in 1790, under the leadership of Yazid (1790–1792) and later, of Abu´r-Rabi Sulayman. In 1795 control of the city returned to Morocco. Fes took part in a rebellion in 1819-1821, led by Ibrahim ibn Yazid, as well as in the 1832 rebellion led by Muhammad ibn Tayyib.

Fes was again the capital of Morocco until 1912, when most of Morocco came under French control and Rabat was chosen as the capital of the new colony. Rabat remained the capital even when Morocco achieved independence in 1956. While many of the original inhabitants of Fes have since emigrated, and the Jewish quarter has been emptied of its Jewish population. This has led to a stagnation of the city's economy.

Despite the traditional character of most of the city, there is also a modern section, the Ville Nouvelle, or "New City". Today that is a bustling commercial center. The popularity of the city has increased since the King of Morocco took a computer engineer from Fes, Salma Bennani
Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco
Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco , is the princess consort of King Mohammed VI of Morocco and the first wife of a Moroccan ruler to have been publicly acknowledged and given a royal title....

, as his wife.

Climate


Fes has a Mediterranean climate
Mediterranean climate
A Mediterranean climate is the climate typical of most of the lands in the Mediterranean Basin, and is a particular variety of subtropical climate...

. Located by the Atlas Mountains, Fes has a seasonal climate, shifting from cool and sometimes rain in the winter to dry and hot days in the summer months between July and September. The nights are always cool (or colder in winter), with daytime temperatures generally rising to about 9-14 C° every day. The winter highs typically reach only 16 °C (61 °F) in December–January (see weather-table below).

Main sights



Fes is becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination and many non-Moroccans are now restoring traditional houses (riads and dars) as second homes in the Fes medina. The most important monuments in the city are:
  • Bou Inania Madrasa
  • Al-Attarine Madrasa
    Al-Attarine Madrasa
    The Al-Attarine Madrasa is a madrasa in Fes, Morocco, near the Al-Qarawiyyin. It was built by the Marinid sultan Uthman II Abu Said in 1323-5. The madrasa takes its name from the Souk al-Attarine, the spice and perfume market.-External links:...

  • University of Al-Karaouine
  • Zaouia Moulay Idriss II
    Zaouia Moulay Idriss II
    The Zaouia Moulay Idriss II is a zaouia in Fes, Morocco, dedicated to and tomb of Moulay Idriss II, who ruled Morocco from 807 to 828 and founded the city of Fes for the second time in 810....

  • Dar al-Magana
    Dar al-Magana
    Dar al-Magana is a house in Fes, Morocco, built by the Marinid Sultan Abu Inan Faris which holds a weight-powered water clock. The muwaqqit Abou al-Hassan Ibn Ali Ahmed Tlemsani was responsible for building the clock, which was finished on 6 May 1357...

  • Aben Danan Synagogue
    Aben Danan Synagogue
    The Ibn Danan Synagogue , is a synagogue in Fes, Morocco, dating from the 17th century..-Architecture:The synagogue was once only one of several inside the walls of Fes, and not the most elaborate. It is entered through a simple doorway indistinguishable from the doors of nearby houses...



Transport


The city is served by Saïss Airport. It also has an ONCF
ONCF
ONCF or ONCFM is Morocco's national railway operator. The Office employs around 9,767 employees and has a network of 1,907 km, all standard gauge...

 train station with lines east to Oujda
Oujda
Oujda is a city in eastern Morocco with an estimated population of 1 million. The city is located about 15 kilometers west of Algeria and about 60 kilometers south of the Mediterranean Sea. It is the capital of the Oriental Region of Morocco and the birthplace of the current Algerian president,...

 and west to Tanger
Tangier
Tangier, also Tangiers is a city in northern Morocco with a population of about 700,000 . It lies on the North African coast at the western entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Spartel...

 and Casablanca
Casablanca
Casablanca is a city in western Morocco, located on the Atlantic Ocean. It is the capital of the Grand Casablanca region.Casablanca is Morocco's largest city as well as its chief port. It is also the biggest city in the Maghreb. The 2004 census recorded a population of 2,949,805 in the prefecture...

.

Notable residents

  • Muhammad XII of Granada, last Moorish king of Al-Andalus
    Al-Andalus
    Al-Andalus was the Arabic name given to a nation and territorial region also commonly referred to as Moorish Iberia. The name describes parts of the Iberian Peninsula and Septimania governed by Muslims , at various times in the period between 711 and 1492, although the territorial boundaries...

    .
  • Jamal Fakir
    Jamal Fakir
    Jamal Fakir is a Moroccan-Frenchrugby league player for the Catalans Dragons club in the European Super League competition. A fiery, strong-running second-rower....

    , French international rugby league
    Rugby league
    Rugby league football, usually called rugby league, is a full contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular grass field. One of the two codes of rugby football, it originated in England in 1895 by a split from Rugby Football Union over paying players...

     player.

International relations



Twin towns — Sister cities


Fes is twinned
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 with: Montpellier
Montpellier
-Neighbourhoods:Since 2001, Montpellier has been divided into seven official neighbourhoods, themselves divided into sub-neighbourhoods. Each of them possesses a neighbourhood council....

, France, since 1961 Strasbourg
Strasbourg
Strasbourg is the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in eastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin département. The city and the region of Alsace are historically German-speaking,...

, France, since 1961 Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

, Italy, since 1961 Kairouan
Kairouan
Kairouan , also known as Kirwan or al-Qayrawan , is the capital of the Kairouan Governorate in Tunisia. Referred to as the Islamic Cultural Capital, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city was founded by the Arabs around 670...

, Tunisia
Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

, since 1965 Saint Louis
Saint-Louis, Senegal
Saint-Louis, or Ndar as it is called in Wolof, is the capital of Senegal's Saint-Louis Region. Located in the northwest of Senegal, near the mouth of the Senegal River, and 320 km north of Senegal's capital city Dakar, it has a population officially estimated at 176,000 in 2005. Saint-Louis...

, Senegal, since 1979 Córdoba
Córdoba, Spain
-History:The first trace of human presence in the area are remains of a Neanderthal Man, dating to c. 32,000 BC. In the 8th century BC, during the ancient Tartessos period, a pre-urban settlement existed. The population gradually learned copper and silver metallurgy...

, Andalusia, Spain, since 1982 Coimbra
Coimbra
Coimbra is a city in the municipality of Coimbra in Portugal. Although it served as the nation's capital during the High Middle Ages, it is better-known for its university, the University of Coimbra, which is one of the oldest in Europe and the oldest academic institution in the...

, Portugal Bobo Dioulasso
Bobo-Dioulasso
Bobo-Dioulasso is a city with a population of about 435,543 , the second largest city in Burkina Faso, Africa, after Ouagadougou, the nation's capital. The name means literally, "home of the Jula who speak Bobo," and is possibly a creation of the French who misunderstood the identity complexities...

, Burkina Faso, since 2003 Lahore
Lahore
Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in the country. With a rich and fabulous history dating back to over a thousand years ago, Lahore is no doubt Pakistan's cultural capital. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Lahore remains a...

, Pakistan Suwon
Suwon
Suwon is the provincial capital of Gyeonggi-do, South Korea. A major city of over a million inhabitants, Suwon lies approximately south of Seoul. It is traditionally known as "The City of Filial Piety"....

, South Korea, since 2003 İzmir
Izmir
Izmir is a large metropolis in the western extremity of Anatolia. The metropolitan area in the entire Izmir Province had a population of 3.35 million as of 2010, making the city third most populous in Turkey...

, Turkey, since 1995 Puebla
Puebla, Puebla
The city and municipality of Puebla is the capital of the state of Puebla, and one of the five most important colonial cities in Mexico. Being a planned city, it is located to the east of Mexico City and west of Mexico's main port, Veracruz, on the main route between the two.The city was founded...

, Mexico Jerusalem, since 1982. (The twinning was signed with the Palestinian Authority
Palestinian National Authority
The Palestinian Authority is the administrative organization established to govern parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip...

, and the city is referred to as "Al-Quds")

See also

  • Treaty of Fez
    Treaty of Fez
    By the Treaty of Fez , signed March 30, 1912, Sultan Abdelhafid gave up the sovereignty of Morocco to the French, making the country a protectorate, resolving the Agadir Crisis of July 1, 1911....

  • Book by Roger Le Tourneau (English translation by Besse Clement), Fez in the Age of the Marinides, Oklahoma University, editions 1961 and 1974 (latter ISBN 0806111984).
  • Article by Julian Vigo. "The Renovation of Fes’ medina qdima and the (re)Creation of the Traditional", Writing the City, Transforming the City, New Delhi: Katha, edition 2006.
  • The Open International Project Competition for Lalla Yeddouna, A Neighborhood in the Medina of Fez, announced in September 2010 in collaboration with the Union International des Architectes (UIA) and the Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC), to renew the area and upgrade the living and working standards of the artisans in the medina. The approach of the project is probably one of the most ambitious for an Arab medina and therefor of exemplary character (www.projectcompetition-fez.com). The Open International Project was won by the London based architecture practice Mossessian & Partners
    Michel Mossessian
    Michel Mossessian is a French architect based in London, UK. Michel gained his diploma in architecture at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts UP N°8 in Paris, where he also engaged in philosophy under Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault...

    .

External links