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Old June 21st, 2011, 04:32 AM   #1
El_Greco
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The Imperial City Of Fes, Morocco

If you like your romance dark, Fes is probably the most romantic city on Earth. It might have been dreamed up by Edgar Allen Poe - almost sinister in its secretiveness.

John Gunther

The oldest of Moroccos imperial cities, Fes, is also the most chaotic and authentic - city where the way of life seems to have remained unchanged since Idris I founded it in 789. City where the air is filled with the sweet scent of wood shavings coming from carpenters' shops, the overpowering smell of raw leather from the tanneries, spices and fruit from its numerous souks and of course the shouts and cries of the traders, street performers, and faux guides. The medina contains many important monuments, El Qaraouiyin University (founded in 859) and Bou Inania Madrasa being just a few examples, and is a treasure in itself, but its layout of steep, narrow, winding alleys and many dead ends ensure that a visit to Fes is always going to be an exhausting but also an exciting one.
Take your time, lose yourself, climb the numerous terraces of the riads or the hills for the views and enjoy...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fes

1. Bab Boujloud, built in 1912 is the main entrance to the medina. Its magnificent, I love Islamic art.



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3. Apparently Fes medina is the largest car-free urban area in the World, traffic here is donkeys, feet and odd scooter.



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5. One of many mosques with the typically ornate entrance.



6. These geometric patterns are simply amazing, Id like to see how its all done.



7. One of many rather scary looking alleyways leading to residential buildings.



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9. Industrial area of the old Fes is not very pretty. This is also where the famous tanneries are located, however I didnt visit them.



10. Bab Rcif.



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12. Resident chicken, this was taken just round the corner from the hostel I was staying in.



13. Pretty impressive gateway with a street market.



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18. I really dont know what this is (probably a mosque) or where it is, by this time we were somewhat lost, but it is impressive.



19. I know what this is, though, its The Madrasa Bou Inania, founded 1351–56, its the only madrasa in Fes with a minaret. Its absolutely stunning.



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23. A new mosque, but still very beautiful.



24. A woman praying in a cemetery, you can see the city walls in the background.



25. After hours spent looking for a way out of the medina it was time to head for the hills to the north of the city and the terrace of Hotel Les Merinides which serves beer and has stunning views, one can just sit there relax and watch the city, its pretty cool when the call to prayer starts.



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27. Its very, very dense...



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33. A wide-angle take on the medina.



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35. There are some green spaces too.



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37. The view from the famous Clock Cafe.



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39. The water clock which also goes by the name of Dar al-Magana, it was built in 1357(!). This is what wikipedia has to say about it - "The clock consists of 13 windows and platforms carrying brass bowls. The motion of the clock was presumably maintained by a kind of small cart which ran from left to right behind the twelve doors. At one end, the cart was attached to a rope with a hanging weight; at the other end to a rope with a weight that floated on the surface of a water reservoir that was drained at a regular pace. Each hour one of the doors opened; at the same time a metal ball was dropped into one of the twelve brass bowls. The rafters sticking out of the building above the doors supported a small roof to shield the doors and bowls." Fantastic stuff!



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46. Dar el-Ghalia riad, its both hotel and a restaurant.



47. This is what many of the riads look like, obviously the size and the level of decoration differ, but the general plan is more or less the same. Reminds me of Roman peristyle houses.



48. Once youre out in the streets its pretty claustrophobic though, the streets are narrow to make sure the sun doesnt reach them and thus it stays nice and cool.



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51. Markets, markets and more markets, indeed the whole city is one big market, pretty exciting.



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54. This is area where they make pottery.



55. This is woodworking area, I think, although the guy in the archway is carrying dried skins. Nice ancient window in the background there.



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57. Jewish quarter or Mellah, characterised by the buildings with their wooden balconies. Very few jews live here nowdays, but the area is full of jewellery shops. It dates to around 15th century!



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61. Royal Palace of Fes, behinds these impressive gates there are 80 hectares of gardens and mosques and even its own madrasa.



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63. And this is my hostel (Funky Fes its called), which was fantastic. I met some nice people there and the food on offer was just magical!



64.



65. Resident cat.

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Old June 21st, 2011, 04:55 AM   #2
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NICE!
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Old June 21st, 2011, 06:18 AM   #3
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this city is a gem..
those arabesque designs are really exhilirating.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 07:20 AM   #4
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Those photos are awesome, and the city looks great.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 01:42 PM   #5
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The city of Fes, no doubt its really a very nice, amazing place well done for those photos
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Old June 21st, 2011, 03:38 PM   #6
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Wonderful pictures.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 03:48 PM   #7
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Stunning city! As if time has stood still..
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Old June 21st, 2011, 05:35 PM   #8
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Very good pictures of this rare, exotic city!
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Old June 21st, 2011, 10:13 PM   #9
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Wonderful !
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 05:16 PM   #10
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Nice pics !
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 03:47 AM   #11
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Thanks a lot guys and lets have some more comments!
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 04:37 AM   #12
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Such a beautiful city.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 02:29 PM   #13
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wow, amazing thread, really brings back memories! El Greco. Fez Old Town is vying with Islamic Cairo and Sana'a as the world's largest medieval city. It just rambles on and on for miles housing hundreds of thousands in ancient looking streets and alleyways, I remember following the crowd down a dead end alley, then having to cross through someone's yard - really does feel like another time, another world.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 02:33 PM   #14
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I like this pic too - Morocco (and Japan) was where the modernists first got their inspiration, imagine this painted brilliant white back in the day:

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Old June 23rd, 2011, 06:39 PM   #15
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What an incredible thread! So exotic and beautiful.... thanks for putting it together! It spurred me on to do a bit of internet research about the availability of alcohol in Morocco. Seems a bit complicated, but apparently it is sold!
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Old June 24th, 2011, 03:14 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taller, Better View Post
What an incredible thread! So exotic and beautiful.... thanks for putting it together! It spurred me on to do a bit of internet research about the availability of alcohol in Morocco. Seems a bit complicated, but apparently it is sold!
Complicated? NOT AT ALL! You can find alcohol in supermarkets, hypermarkets and some alcohol shoppers. Of course the law here is more strict because we are a muslim nation so all the alcohol sellers must stop selling alcohol at 19h30 everyday. But trust me there's no problem finding alcohol, I drink occasionally, I love vodka.
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Old June 24th, 2011, 04:15 PM   #17
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Really beautiful photos. Makes me want to go there too.
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Old June 24th, 2011, 10:21 PM   #18
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Fes is one of my dream destination but those pictures make me even more interested in the city! Thanks!
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Old June 25th, 2011, 02:17 AM   #19
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Great pictures El_Greco,"Fes el Bali" is actually the biggest car free district in the world
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Old June 25th, 2011, 03:57 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the spliff fairy View Post
wow, amazing thread, really brings back memories! El Greco. Fez Old Town is vying with Islamic Cairo and Sana'a as the world's largest medieval city. It just rambles on and on for miles housing hundreds of thousands in ancient looking streets and alleyways, I remember following the crowd down a dead end alley, then having to cross through someone's yard - really does feel like another time, another world.
Sana'a is a league of its own, though, isnt it? I dont think youll find architecture this unique anywhere else outside Yemen. It does make one wonder how and why architecture develops unique regional or national flavour...Sad that Yemen is so dangerous atm...

When were you in Fes?

Thanks man!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taller, Better View Post
What an incredible thread! So exotic and beautiful.... thanks for putting it together! It spurred me on to do a bit of internet research about the availability of alcohol in Morocco. Seems a bit complicated, but apparently it is sold!
Oh finding alcohol is not a problem even in a city like Fes, which is still an important piligrimage site for muslims. My hostel had beer, but we went to the posh hotel on the hills - Hotel Les Merinides. Its brilliant - quiet, beautiful and the views from the terrace are fantastic. Most of the panoramic shots were taken from there.

Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Falubaz View Post
Fes is one of my dream destination but those pictures make me even more interested in the city! Thanks!
You should do it then!
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Last edited by El_Greco; June 25th, 2011 at 04:02 PM.
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