Fez – Morocco Latebreaks
Morocco Breaks – Fez,
Morocco, Fez is a traditional city known for its narrow streets and its merchants of silver and armaments and traditional clothes as kaftans and djelaba.
If you’re looking for the place to breathe and walk “exotic” then this should be your next to-go-to place.
Fez is the third largest Moroccan city, after Casablanca and Rabat, with close to a one million inhabitants.
In fact it is believed that Fez was the largest city in the world from 1170 to 1180.
It is the capital of the Fez-Boulemane region, and is one of the four Imperial cities; the other three are Marakesh, Meknes and Rabat.
Fez became part of the Moroccan Empire in 1548.
The Medina of Fez el Bali is considered a UNESCO World Heritage site because of its feature as the world’s largest contiguous car-free urban area.
Fez is separated into three parts, Fez el Bali (the old, walled city), Fez-Jdid (new Fez, home of the Mellah), and the Ville Nouvelle (the French-created, newest section of Fez).
Fez became the center of the Alaouite Dynasty in 1649, and it was a major trading post of the Barbary Coast of North Africa.
Until the 19th century it was the lone source of Fez hats known locally as tarboosh, France and Turkey started manufacturing it; originally, the dye used for the hats came from a berry that was grown outside the city, known as the Turkish kizziljiek or Greek akenia (Cornus mascula).
Fez was also the end of a north-south gold trading route from Timbuktu.
Fez enjoyed the title of being Morocco’s capital several times in the past, the last time being in 912.
This was when majority of Morocco came under French control and Rabat was elected to be the capital of the new colony—a merit that the city retained when Morocco gained independence in 1956.
Bab boujloud in Fez is a famous place throughout Morocco for its leather manufacturing industry.
Fez is the spiritual capital of Morocco because of its famous university, The Kairaouine Mosque.
If you are the type of traveller who goes for spiritual journeys, then this part of Fez is worth stopping by for.
Fez is conceivably the most interesting and picturesque of the Imperial Cities of Morocco.
Even with the traditional character that is evident through out the city, there is also a modern section, the Ville Nouvelle, literally “New City”, which is bustling with trade and commerce.
The popularity of the city has soared since the King of Morocco took a local computer engineer by the name of Salma Bennani, as his wife.
This is a feat for empowered women in the city and an inspiration for women’s groups all throughout.
Fez’s economy is also in a position of speedy revitalization especially when the annual Fez Feztival of World Sacred Music gained worldwide popularity.
The tourism industry is about to see its charts soaring like wild birds of prey.
Thousands of visitors now congregate on the city every year to experience an exceptional weeklong celebration of sacred musical traditions from every corner of the world.
Celebrated performers like Ravi Shankar, Youssou N’Dour and Salif Keita are put side by side with more little known musical genres such as Japanese Gagaku, Indonesian Gamelan and folk music from Central Asia.
So if you want to rub elbows with them, then Fez is the place to hang out in.
The 2012 Feztival promises to be a vintage year, with new Artistic Director Cherif Khaznadar bringing a fresh perspective to the program, perfect for someone who’s in for a taste of a cultural fanfare! The Moroccan scholar and philanthropist Faouzi Skali established the Feztival in 1994.
The Feztival includes a four-day Forum under the rubric “Giving Soul to Globalization.” Politicians, social activists, visionaries, academics and religious leaders come together in discourse; the World Bank sponsors this Forum.
So if you are looking for a meaningful political tour, then drop by Fez.
Fez is fast becoming a popular tourist destination and many experts are restoring traditional houses (riads and dars) as second homes in the Fez medina.
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