Fas / ⴼⴰⵙ / فاس
|• Mayor||Hamid Chabat|
|• Governor||Mohamed Rerrhabi|
|Elevation||1,900 ft (579 m)|
|• Population Rank in Morocco||2nd|
|Medina of Fez|
|Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List|
|UNESCO region||Arab States|
|Inscription||1981 (5th Session)|
Fes or Fez (Arabic: فاس Moroccan Arabic: [fɛs], Berber: Fas, ⴼⴰⵙ) is the second largest city of Morocco, with a population of approximately 1 million (2010). It is the capital of the Fès-Boulemane region.
Fas el Bali is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its medina, the larger of the two medinas of Fes, is believed to be the world's largest contiguous car-free urban area. Al-Qarawiyyin, founded in AD 859, is the oldest continuously functioning madrasa in the world. The city has been called the "Mecca of the West" and the "Athens of Africa".
Until the Almoravid rule in the 11th century, Fes consisted of two separate cities or medinas: Madinat Fas and Al-'Aliya. The former being founded by Idris I, the latter by his son, Idris II. During Idrisid rule the capital city was known as Al-'Aliya, with the name Fas being reserved for the separate site on the other side of the river: no Idrisid coins have been found with the name Fes, only al-'Aliya and al-'Aliya Madinat Idris. It is not known whether the name al-'Aliya was ever used to refer to both medinas. It wasn't until 1070 that the two agglomerations were united and the name Fas was used for both sites.
The name is probably taken from the word Fazaz, the old Berber name for the Middle Atlas mountains near the city. The name is also attested as a Berber tribe living just south of Fes. Today, Ait Fazaz is the name of a small town just west of Meknes.
Foundation and the Idrisids 
The city was founded on a bank of the Jawhar river by Idris I in 789, founder of the Zaydi Shi'ite Idrisid dynasty. His son, Idris II (808), built a settlement on the opposing river bank. These settlements would soon develop into two separate, walled and largely autonomous sites, often in conflict with one another: Madinat Fas and Al-'Aliya. In 808 Al-'Aliya replaced Walili as the capital of the Idrisids.
Arab emigration to Fez, including 800 Andalusi families of Berber descent in 817–818 expelled after a rebellion against the Umayyads of Córdoba, and 2,000 Arab families banned from Kairouan (modern Tunisia) after another rebellion in 824, gave the city a more Arabic character than other cities of the region. The Andalusians settled in Madinat Fas, while the Tunisians found their home in al-'Aliya. These two waves of immigrants would subsequently give their name to the two sites: 'Adwat Al-Andalus and 'Adwat al-Qarawiyyin. An important aspect of the city's population was of North-African Berber descent, with rural Berbers from the surrounding countryside settling the city throughout this early period, mainly in Madinat Fas (the Andalusian quarter) and later in Fes Jdid.
Upon the death of Idris II in 828, the dynasty’s territory was divided among his sons, and the eldest, Muhammad, received Fes. The newly fragmented Idrisid power would never again be reunified. During Yahya ibn Muhammad's rule in Fes the Kairouyine mosque, one of the oldest and largest in Africa, was built and its associated Al-Qarawiyyin Madrasa was founded (859). Comparatively little is known about Idrisid Fes, owing to the lack of comprehensive historical narratives from this period and the fact that little has survived of the architecture and infrastructure of early Fes (Al-'Aliya). The sources that mention Idrisid Fes, describe a rather rural one, not having the cultural sophistication of the important cities of Al-Andalus and Ifriqiya.
In the 10th century the city was contested by the Caliphate of Córdoba and the Fatimids of Tunisia. The later took the city in 927 and expelled the Idrissids, after which the Miknasa allies of the Fatimids were installed in the city. The Miknasa were driven out of Fes in 1001 by the Maghrawa, allies of the Caliphate of Córdoba. According to the Rawd al-Qirtas and other Marinid era sources, the Maghrawi emir Dunas Al-Maghrawi filled up the open spaces between the two medinas and the banks of the river dividing them with new constructions. Thus, the two cities grew into each other, being now only separated by their city walls and the river flowing through them. His sons fortified the city to a great extent. This could not keep the Almoravids from conquering the city in 1070.
Golden age and the Marinid period 
Madinat Fas and Al-'Aliya were united in 1070 by the Almoravids: the walls dividing them were destroyed, bridges connecting the two parts were built and connecting walls were constructed that unified the medinas. Although the capital was moved to Marrakech and Tlemcen under the Almoravids, Fez acquired a reputation for Maliki legal scholarship and became an important centre of Jewish trade.
Like many Moroccan cities, Fes was greatly enlarged in the Almohad era and saw its previously dominating rural aspect lessen. This was accomplished partly by the settling there of Andalusians and the further improvement of the infrastructure. At the start of the 13th century they broke down the Idrisid city walls and constructed new ones, which covered a much wider space. These Almohad walls exist to this day as the outline of Fes el Bali. Under Almohad rule the city grew to become the largest city in the world for a short period of time, with an estimated 200.000 people living there in the late 12th century. In the early 13th century the sources for the first time describe it as being 'a grand city'.
In 1250 Fes regained its capital status under the Marinid dynasty. In 1276 they founded Fes Jdid, which they made their administrative and militairy centre. Fez reached its golden age in the Marinid period, which marked the beginning of an official, historical narrative for the city. It is from the Marinid period that Fes' reputation as an important intellectual centre largely dates. They established the first madrassas in the city and country. The principal monuments in the medina, the residences and public buildings, date from the Marinid period. The madrasas are a hallmark of Marinid architecture, with its striking blending of Andalusian and Almohad traditions. Between 1271 and 1357 seven madrassas were built in Fes, the style of which has come to be typical of Fassi architecture. The Jewish quarter of Fes, the Mellah was built in 1438, near the royal residence in Fes Jdid. The Mellah at first consisted of Jews from Fes el Bali, but soon saw the arrival of Berber Jews from the Atlas range and Jewish immigrants from Al-Andalus. The Marinids spread the cult of Idris I and encouraged sharifism, financing sharifian families as a way to legitimize their (in essence secular) rule: from the 14th century onwards hundreds of families throughout Morocco claimed descent from Idris I, especially in Fes and the Rif mountains. In this regard they can be seen as the enablers of the latter sharifian dynasties of Morocco. A revolt in 1465 overthrew the last Maranid sultan and in 1474 the Marinids were replaced by their relatives of the Wattasid dynasty, who faithfully (but for a large part unsuccessfully) continued Marinid policies.
Modern period 
In the Early Modern Age, the Ottoman Empire came close to Fez after the conquest of Oujda in the 16th century. In 1554, the Wattasid Dynasty took Fez with the support of the Turks, and the city became a vassal of the Ottomans, who finally conquered it in 1579 under sultan Murad III.
The Ottoman power in North Africa focused on threats posed by Habsburg Spain and the Portuguese Kingdom. As a result, Fez was not under pressure from the Ottoman rulers. The conquest of Fez was the catalyst for the move of the capital city of the Saadi Dynasty to Marrakech. Early in the 17th century the town returned to Moroccan control under Ahmad al-Mansur.
After the fall of the Saadi Dynasty (1649), Fez was a major trading post of the Barbary Coast of North Africa. Until the 19th century it was the only source of Fez hats (also known as the tarboosh). Then manufacturing began in France and Turkey as well. Originally, the dye for the hats came from a berry that was grown outside the city, known as the Turkish "kızılcık" or Greek "akenia" (Cornus mas). Fez was also the end of a north-south gold trading route from Timbuktu. Fez was also a prime manufacturing location for leather goods such as the Adarga.
The city became independent in 1790, under the leadership of Yazid (1790–1792) and later, of Abu´r-Rabi Sulayman. In 1795 control of the city returned to Morocco. Fez took part in a rebellion in 1819-1821, led by Ibrahim ibn Yazid, as well as in the 1832 rebellion led by Muhammad ibn Tayyib.
Fez was again the capital of Morocco until 1912, . Rabat remained the capital even when Morocco achieved independence in 1956.
Despite the traditional character of most of the city, there is also a modern section, the Ville Nouvelle, or "New City". Today that is a bustling commercial center. The popularity of the city has increased since the King of Morocco took a computer engineer from Fes, Salma Bennani, as his wife.
Fez has a Mediterranean climate. Located by the Atlas Mountains, Fez has a seasonal climate, shifting from cold and rain in the winter to dry and hot days in the summer months between June and September. The nights are always cool (or colder in winter). Rainfall can reach up to 700 mm (28 in) per year, snow can also fall in winter The winter highs typically reach only 16 °C (61 °F) in December–January, The highest and lowest temperatures ever recorded in the city are 46.7 °C (116 °F) and −9.2 °C (15 °F), respectively.(see weather-table below).
|Climate data for Fes|
|Average high °C (°F)||16.1
|Average low °C (°F)||4.2
|Rainfall mm (inches)||71.6
|Source: Hong Kong Observatory|
The prefecture is divided administratively into the following:
|Name||Geographic code||Type||Households||Population (2004)||Foreign population||Moroccan population||Notes|
|Mechouar Fes Jdid||231.01.03.||Municipality||6097||26078||83||25995|
|Jnan El Ouard||231.01.09.||Arrondissement||32618||174226||15||174211|
|Oulad Tayeb||231.81.01.||Rural commune||3233||19144||3||19141||5056 residents live in the center, called Ouled Tayeb; 14088 residents live in rural areas.|
|Ain Bida||231.81.03.||Rural commune||1146||6854||0||6854|
|Sidi Harazem||231.81.05.||Rural commune||982||5133||0||5133||3317 residents live in the center, called Skhinate; 1816 residents live in rural areas.|
Main sights 
Fez is becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination and many non-Moroccans are now restoring traditional houses (riads and dars) as second homes in the Fez medina. The most important monuments in the city are:
- Bou Inania Madrasa
- Al-Attarine Madrasa
- University of Al-Karaouine
- Zaouia Moulay Idriss II
- Dar al-Magana
- Aben Danan Synagogue
University of al-Karaouine 
The University of al-Karaouine or al-Qarawiyyin (Arabic: جامعة القرويين) is a university located in Fes, Morocco. The mosque of Al-Karaouine was founded by Fatima al-Fihri in 859 with an associated mosque school or madrasa, not in citation given which has also been referred to as a university. It has been and continues to be one of the leading spiritual and educational centers of the Muslim world. It became a state university in 1963.
Notable residents 
- Muhammad XII of Granada, last Moorish king of Al-Andalus.
- Jamal Fakir, French international rugby league player.
- Madame Guinaudeau, French cookery and travel writer.
International relations 
Twin towns — Sister cities 
Fez is twinned with:
- Montpellier, France, since 1961
- Strasbourg, France, since 1961
- Florence, Italy, since 1961
- Kairouan, Tunisia, since 1965
- Tlemcen, Algeria, since 1969
- Saint Louis, Senegal, since 1979
- Córdoba, Andalusia, Spain, since 1982
- Jerusalem, Palestine/Israel (since 1982) (The twinning was signed with the Palestinian Authority, and the city is referred to as "Al-Quds")
- İzmir, Turkey, since 1995
- Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, since 2003
- Suwon, South Korea, since 2003
- Coimbra, Portugal
- Lahore, Pakistan
- Puebla, Mexico
- "Fes, Kingdom of Morocco", Lat34North.com & Yahoo! Weather, 2009, webpages: L34-Fes and Yahoo-Fes-stats.
- Morocco 2004 Census
- History of Fes
- An architectural Investigation of Marinid and Watasid Fes p. 19
- "Fes". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2007. Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. 3 Mar. 2007
- The Places Where Men Pray Together p. 55
- A History of the Maghrib in the Islamic Period By Jamil Mir'i Abun-Nasr. p. 51.
- Realm of Saints p. 9
- Merriam Webster's Collegiate Encyclopedia. p.574.
- http://books.google.nl/books?id=hEvCpNW2qBwC&pg=PA252&lpg=PA252&dq=largest+cities+marinid&source=bl&ots=XE99KZOhMr&sig=ulCMzj6vNI8shzEhsERUEGbiNAQ&hl=nl#v=onepage&q=largest%20cities%20marinid&f=false Morocco 2009 (p.252)
- http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/348/1/uk_bl_ethos_426809.pdf An architectural Investigation of Marinid and Watasid Fes (p.16)
- http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/348/1/uk_bl_ethos_426809.pdf An architectural Investigation of Marinid and Watasid Fes (p.23)
- http://books.google.nl/books?id=9JQ3AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA896&lpg=PA896&dq=al-baidhak+berber&source=bl&ots=6VhCVPS4Jo&sig=HM2Ak4_6TAQa7RmdW494_JcGJxM&hl=nl&sa=X&ei=jb8vT4nvFMGbOpy4tI0O&ved=0CC4Q6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=berber&f=false Encyclopedia of Islam (p. 605)
- http://books.google.nl/books?id=frhUbLo7aRsC&pg=PA91&dq=Muhammad+al-Dila%27i+berber&hl=nl&sa=X&ei=TMseT4-xLo3_-gbP8vnADw&ved=0CDgQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=Muhammad%20al-Dila%27i%20berber&f=false The Berbers and the Islamic State (p. 90)
- http://books.google.nl/books?id=Te5QRi35W5EC&pg=PA121&dq=ibn+marzuq&hl=nl&sa=X&ei=mx8fT8-6K8eF-wabzPWhBg&ved=0CDYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=ibn%20marzuq&f=false Islamic Art a Visual Culture (p. 121)
- http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/348/1/uk_bl_ethos_426809.pdf An architectural Investigation of Marinid and Watasid Fes (p.5)
- "The Encyclopedia of World History". Bartleby.com. 2001. pp. 1553–54. Archived from the original on 2008-01-18. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
- Morocco and the Ottomans: The Sixteenth Century in North Africa by Michael Brett p.334
- "Climatological Information for Fes, Morocco". Hong Kong Observatory. 15 August 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
- "Recensement général de la population et de l'habitat de 2004". Haut-commissariat au Plan, Lavieeco.com. Retrieved 22 April 2012.
- "::.. Oncf ..::". Oncf.ma. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
- Author of 'Traditional Moroccan Cooking, Recipes from Fez'. (Serif, London, 2003). ISBN 1-897959-43-5
- "Jumelage". Fes city. Retrieved 2010-12-10.
- Portal of Fes Partnercities, visited 26 July 2011
- "Sister cities of İzmir (1/7)" (in Turkish). Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- "Acordos de Geminação" (in Portuguese). © 2009 Câmara Municipal de Coimbra – Praça 8 de Maio – 3000-300 Coimbra. Retrieved 2009-06-25.
- "Kraków otwarty na świat". www.krakow.pl. Retrieved 2009-07-19.
See also 
- Treaty of Fez
- Book by Roger Le Tourneau (English translation by Besse Clement), Fez in the Age of the Marinides, Oklahoma University, editions 1961 and 1974 (latter ISBN 0-8061-1198-4).
- Article by Julian Vigo. "The Renovation of Fes’ medina qdima and the (re)Creation of the Traditional", Writing the City, Transforming the City, New Delhi: Katha, edition 2006.
- The Open International Project Competition for Lalla Yeddouna, A Neighborhood in the Medina of Fez, announced in September 2010 in collaboration with the Union International des Architectes (UIA) and the Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC), to renew the area and upgrade the living and working standards of the artisans in the medina. The approach of the project is probably one of the most ambitious for an Arab medina and therefor of exemplary character (www.projectcompetition-fez.com). The Open International Project was won by the London based architecture practice Mossessian & Partners.
Further reading 
- Published in the 19th century
- Jedidiah Morse; Richard C. Morse (1823), "Fez", A New Universal Gazetteer (4th ed.), New Haven: S. Converse
- H.M.P. de la Martinière (1889), "(Fez)", Morocco: Journeys in the Kingdom of Fez and to the Court of Mulai Hassan, London: Whittaker & Co., OCLC 4428176
- Published in the 20th century
- "Fez", The Encyclopaedia Britannica (11th ed.), New York: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1910, OCLC 14782424
- Published in the 21st century
- Stefano Bianca (2000), "Case Study 3: Fez", Urban Form in the Arab World, Zurich: ETH Zurich, ISBN 3728119725, 0500282056
- C. Edmund Bosworth, ed. (2007). "Fez". Historic Cities of the Islamic World. Leiden: Koninklijke Brill.
- Michael R.T. Dumper; Bruce E. Stanley, eds. (2008), "Fez", Cities of the Middle East and North Africa, Santa Barbara, USA: ABC-CLIO
- "Fez". Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art & Architecture. Oxford University Press. 2009.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Fes|
- Official government website of the city
- Portal dedicated to Fez. Online Since 2006.
- Fes travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Fez Portal at Ville Fes
- Complexe culturel de Fes, Cultural Complex of Fes
- The portal of Fez at Fes-City
- Fes Property Restoration Service
- The Fez Festival: Sacred Music From Around The World – audio report by NPR
- "Fez". Islamic Cultural Heritage Database. Istanbul: Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture.
- ArchNet.org. "Fez". Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: MIT School of Architecture and Planning.
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