Discover the fascinating history of Fez (fes) since it was founded by Yusuf ibn Tashfin, leader of the Moroccan Almoravid empire, up until the present day.
Fez, Morocco sometimes written as Fes, Morocco was the capital of the country until 1925 and has long been considered the spiritual home of the country. The Fez medina is one of the largest car-free zones in the world and is a UNESCO world heritage site. It’s been dwarfed in recent years by larger and more tourist-oriented Marrakech but offers visitors a different look at Moroccan life.
Modern day Fez was founded in 789 by Idriss I on the Jawhar River that runs through the city. It is in the north of the country sandwiched between the Rif Mountains and Middle Atlas Mountains. Within 50 years there were two large waves of immigrants that came to form settlements, one on each side of the river. 800 families from Andalusia arrived and settled what is today “Old Fez” while 2000 families banned from Kariouan Tunisia formed New Fez or al-Aliya.
This would later become an issue as the Caliphate of Cordoba and Caliphate of Tunisia contested who ruled the city. By 1070 it was resolved as the Almoravid dynasty united the city both figuratively and literally as they broke down the walls that divided the settlements and united it into one medina.
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