In Fès We say; « Fes » walkolo fi Fes. This is an old saying.
It means everything exists in Fes.
Fes is the heart, soul, and mind of Morocco, the best of everything Moroccan! spirituality, Science, cuisine, Learning, Art and artisans, these things all begin and end in Fes.
The most ancient of the Imperial Cities, Fes was founded by Idriss II around 789, having been drawn to the area by the abundance of fresh water and the green and fertile location.
12 centuries old here you can find a blend of the old and the new.
Most visitors to Fes only want to see the old, our Medina.
The first independent Muslim kingdom of Morocco was established here on the plain of Saiss, upon the hell of the old Roman Capital of Volubilis, at the of the 8th century by my Idriss, great great grandson of the prophet Mohamed, Wanted to build a large beautiful city, a capital city. He died before his dream was realized, however his son Idriss II continued the dream he carried out the wishes of his father.
At the heart of the Medina is the mosque originally built and gifted to the city by Fatima, this was built as a university in 789.
The city was first occupied by Berbers mostly setting on the eastern banks of the Oued Fes. Later Arab families joined their modern-day Tunisia and settled on the west side of the rivers greeting the Kairouan quarter. The heritage of both these people formed a strong foundation for their future religion, culture, and architecture all which can be experienced in Fes. Idriss II’s heirs caused the kingdom to break apart but here in Fes peace and prosperity continued to shine, until the 10 century As the dynasties change over the following 2 centuries, the fortunes of Fès climbed and fell many times. Invasion of the Berbers, resulting in war and famine was ended with Almoravid Dynasty, however, when that dynasty fell from power in 1154 they left the city, Destroying walls and building. The walls were later replaced when the Almohad dynasty was promised Royalty by the locals, Fassis. You can still see a large area of the walls from this period of time.
Fes continued to be an important crossroads-holding power (intellectual) rather than political. With the university and Mosque well established, Fes was the « center » of culture and learning from Spain through to Sénègal, a huge empire. it’s political status was recovered with the Merinid dynasty around 1250.
When central power weakened during the 19th century and interference From Europe increased, both Fes and Marrakesh became capital of a fragmented country.
Fès kept its status as the « Moral » capital and in 1912 a treaty introducing Spanish and French protectorates over Morocco was signed. Less than 3 weeks later, rioting and fighting against the new « rulers » proved how volatile the city of Fes had become. The French declared Rabat as capital, Fes has awe about it that draws people to the city for a one-stop I can provide information on where to stay and what to do.
I offer personal tour guiding in French, English, and Japanese. My Background is in teaching (literacy) and 20 years with tourism. some of the places I can show you in the Médina, a labyrinth of more than 9515 streets include copper/brass work, where you can witness the mean at work making pots and plates at the Saffarine Square watch the Smith beat his metal and make knives, scissors, needles while you stand there, the library that extends from the university ; the tanner where you can view the action from above ; purchase a bag, belt, purse, shoes-all made with beautiful leather, dyed from natural dyes ; we will walk past many, many sellers of meat, vegetables, clothes, shoes, anything you can think of to bay.
I also offer to advise on where you can have a massage, take cooking classes, great restaurants, and Guesthouses- Riads.
With my guiding, you will have a safe experience as I’m quite known to very many of the artisans/ gifts men.
Please call to schedule and be dazzled by the beauty of Fes- like you people come from all over the world and all over the country to experience Fes, the very essence of Morocco.