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City View with Minaret, Medina, Fez, Morocco, North Africa, Africa
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Bab Bou Jeloud, Fes El Bali, Fez, Morocco, North Africa, Africa
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The Irresistible Lure of Fez
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The Irresistible Lure of Fez   by Sylvia Arad

Fes Featured Hotels

Fez, the oldest and most important of Morocco's imperial cities, was the capital of Morocco for over four centuries. It remains to this day the cultural and religious center of the country. 
Fez is divided into three sections of which the Medina, the medieval city is the most important. Founded in the 8th century by Moulay Idriss, Fez el Bali, the medieval city, or Medina, is the labyrinthine heart and center of Fez. Fez el Jedid, the "new" city, was established in the 13th century and houses the Mellah, the old Jewish quarter. The Ville Nouvelle was built by the French in the early 29th century and holds no historical interest. Suspended between the Middle Ages and modern times, mystical Fez is intriguing. Its medieval design is visual proof of its history and culture, with its old buildings maintaining the feel and appearance of hundreds of years ago in an architectural style long gone.

Fez houses many lovely buildings, enclosed courtyards and intricately designed gateways. The Kairaouine Mosque, Morocco's most important mosque and learning center for over 1000 years, is found here. Though non-Muslims cannot gain entrance, they can get a glimpse of the mosque through the open doors.

To look in, you get a sense of the sheer size and power of this center. In the same area, you can visit other hundreds-year old schools, with detailed archways leading to beautiful courtyards.

Gateway, Bab Dekakene, Fez, Morocco, North Africa, Africa
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The Belghazi Museum, housed in a 17th century Riad, a town house built around an enclosed inner garden, is well worth a visit, as is Bou Inania, an ancient ornate courtyard.
Bab Bou Jeloud, Fez, Morocco, North Africa, Africa
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Fez' main attraction is its Medina, which has retained its medieval soul and spirit, with its winding streets and alleys too narrow for modern transportation. Here, donkeys, horses and mules rule, delivering supplies to local shops and souks while throngs of people on foot crowd the alleys and tunnel ways. 

The Medina is a maze, with souks rife with crafts using methods from the medieval past, the most famous being the dyes souk, where cloth and yarn are died over ancient vats of multicolored dyes. Visiting the tanner's quarter you can watch craftsmen expertly plying their trade. Side by side with everyday essentials, each quarter holds its own hammam (bathhouse), bakery, cobbler and every craft and trade needed for daily life.

Wandering aimlessly in the maze of alleyways and tiny streets, you're bound to stumble upon a palace, carved fountains and intricately designed monuments with quotes from the Koran, adorned in lovely tiles and lavish marble, or a riad from the 19th century! Getting lost here is part of the fun and adventure.

The charm of Fez lies in that sense of a different time it exudes -sights that remind one of the distant past: From palaces, balconies, courtyards and ramparts to the walls that were used for defense, combined with the sounds of everyday life and the throngs of people, make Fez a human beehive with the feel and appearance of centuries past.

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About the Author: I'm a trip consultant, planner and manager who loves creating unique intercultural adventures for families. I want to impart information,tips and personal experiences especially related to family adventure travel.


Hotel & Spa Dar Bensouda Hotel & Spa Dar Bensouda, Fes
Dar Bensouda : Charming guest house in the heart of Fez Medina. Dar Bensouda is an authentic old palace in Fez, transformed into a charming guesthouse. Here you'll find exquisite traditional architecture harmoniously combined with all the comforts of  modern accommodation. Dar Bensouda has two beautiful courtyards : the fountain courtyard around which eleven luxurious rooms and suites are arranged; and the swimming pool patio with a leafy garden, Each room is individually decorated, air-conditioned, and has an ensuite bathroom with shower. The suites have a bathtub and a relaxing sitting room.
Riad dar Chrifa Riad dar Chrifa, Fes
Capture the magic and feel the spirit of Fez! Your host will share with you his traditional and authentic house and his passion for this enchanting city. Haven of peace located on the hill of the medina of Fez, in the residential district of Ziat, “Ryad Dar Chrifa” was designed and recently renovated in its entirety for your comfort and your wanderlust. Ryad Dar Chrifa has three rooms and four suites around a central patio, a large terrace with a view onto the old city make this guest house a unique place.
Riad Myra Hotel Riad Myra Hotel, Fes
Inspired by Andalusia architects and craftsmen, Riad Myra in Fez or Fès was built at the beginning of the last century. This luxurious property is located in the vibrant heart of the city, with 13 rooms and suites that have been designed to reflect historic elegance, with discreet modern features and amenities. A central courtyard with ornate archways, intricate stucco work, colorful mosaics and towering cedar wood doors is surrounded by the guest rooms, all sumptuously decorated with colorful drapes and brocades and a combination of Moroccan and English antique furniture. A traditional Hammam offers soothing relaxation and invigorating spa treatments, while the hotel's restaurant serves delicious Moroccan feasts.

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