All About Fez

Points Covered:

  • Location
  • History 
  • Climate 
  • Local customs
  • Popular Fez Dishes
  • Best Tourist Spots in Fez
  • Travel Tips to Consider as you Travel to Fez City

Fez City is in northern Morocco and it is the current capital of the Fas-Meknes administrative region. This city is the second-largest city in Morocco after Casablanca, with a population of about 1.6 million people. Its unique cultural diversity has granted it the title of the cultural center of Morocco. Being one of the oldest cities in Morocco, it forms a great part of the history of this country. The numerous fascinating ancient structures that are found in this beautiful city were declared and named a world heritage center by UNESCO in 1981, making it one of the major tourist spots in the world. In this article, we shall take you through important facts you should know about this ancient city and also explains why this ancient Moroccan city is one of the most unique cities in Africa and the world at large.


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Fez City is located in the northern sector of Morocco, around the northeast area of the Atlas Mountain. It is located between the three major cities of Morocco which include Casablanca, Rabat, and Marrakesh, and from the southwestern side of the city, it leads to the Trans-Saharan trade routes. The city itself is slightly elevated while also being surrounded by high grounds. The river of Fez also flows through this ancient city. 
 All About Fez




Fez City was founded during the Idrisid rule around the 8th – 9th century, at that time, it consisted of two separate and autonomous communities that often competed with each other. Later, after the fall of the Idrisid dynasty, there was a brief unstable political period that continued until around the 11th dynasty when the Almoravid sultan Yusuf Ibn Tashfin United the two settlements and rebuilt the city. After this unification, the city gained a great reputation for religious education and mercantile activity. The unique Arabic character that is found in the city today is due to the immigration of about 2000 Arabic families into Fez City around the 9th century. 

Later on, as Fez City rose in power, and economic and political influence, it was made the capital of the Marinid sultanate which covered present-day Morocco and some other north African tribes. Mosques were constructed in almost every street, and madrasas, Zawiyas, and city gates were also constructed. Most of these structures can still be seen to this very day. During this time, the Jewish population grew as the country attracted Jews from surrounding north African countries. But later after the Marinid dynasty was overthrown, the city rapidly declined and was eventually surpassed by Marrakesh in political and cultural influence though still retaining its place as the capital of modern Morocco until 1912 when it was replaced by Rabat which remained the capital even after Morocco gained independence in 1955.
 All About Fez




Just like all other north African areas, Fez City has a relatively hot climate with a strong continental influence. This hot climate shifts to a relatively cooler and wetter climate in the winter and then back to the hot climate around June to September. Rainfall in this region can reach up to 800mm. The winter reaches around 15⁰c in December- January. The highest and lowest temperature ever recorded in the city ranges from 46.7⁰C to -8.2⁰C. In 2005,2006, and 2007 though, the city of Fez City recorded snowfall. 


 All About Fez


Local customs


Fez City being a large and prosperous city was home to a lot of people practicing different religions, but the major religion of the city's inhabitants is the Islamic religion. This can be seen from the numerous Mosques that are built all over the city. Although in the past there was a large population of Jews in Fez City, Their numbers have since lessened and are almost non-existent in modern-day Fez. Even though the people are mostly Muslims, they still celebrate some amazing and colorful festivals that often leave tourists mesmerized. Some of these festivals include the four Moussems that are held in the city year. These four festivals are the Moulay Abdallah ben Brahim celebrated in May, Sidi Lahcen Ben Ahmed celebrated in August, and Moulay Idriss II and Maulay Idris Zerhoun both celebrated in September. These symbolic festivals are usually full of color and beautiful music and are a perfect illustration of how cultural Fez City can be. Also, a very important festival celebrated in October is the Tissa Fantasia horse festival which involves a beautiful spectacle of hundreds of Arab Berbers, Arab stallions, and Barbary Mares who are put through their paces in displays over ten days.
 All About Fez


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Popular Fez City Dishes


Even though Fez City is no longer the capital of Morocco, it is still referred to as Morocco’s food capital. Tasty meals such as Lakli’l, Bastilla, Chebbakia, and sweets of Moulay Idriss are served in restaurants and homes all over the city. These meals are made from the tastiest spices and ingredients that you simply can’t resist. Most dishes served in this wonderful city that is regarded as international delicacies are also served in various international restaurants all over the world.


Best Tourist Spots in Fez City

Due to its rich historical and cultural background, Fez City is filled with all sorts of tourist spots that are perfect for holidays and tourism. These places provide tourists with memorable experiences by providing them with tasty local dishes and an opportunity to interact with & witness some amazing historical structures. Some of these places are listed below.

•    Medersa Bou Inania  
•    Medersa el-Attarine
•    Fes el Bali
•    Souks district and Tanneries.
•    Bou Jeloud Gardens 

 All About Fez


Travel Tips to Consider as you Travel to Fez City

As you journey to this wonderful country either for tourism, business, or any other reason, here are some important tips to guide you on what to do and what not to do in order to have a good and hitch-free time in Fez City.

•    Respect the religion and culture of the people you meet.

•    Treat artifacts with care and respect 

•    Travel with a travel agency to make your journey smoother and easier

•    Do be conscious of your environment, and do not follow strangers to suspicious palaces.

•    Adhere strictly to your budget.


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