Fes, one of the four Imperial Cities, is known as the spiritual and intellectual center of Morocco, plus a center for handicraft arts.
The Old City of Fes, known as the Fes Medina or Fes el Bali, is the best preserved Old City in the Arab world. It was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981.
It is a sprawling, labyrinthine city of narrow streets which prohibits motorized vehicles. Transport is only provided by donkeys and mules.
Many old homes, originally built with marble, wood carvings and colorful tiles, are now converted into Riads or Hotels.
Fes is home to one of the oldest universities in the world, the University of al Quaraouiyine, founded in 859.
The tanneries, where skins are dyed and made into leather products, is a ‘must see.’ The techniques of leather making in the Old Town have not changed since the Middle Ages.
The Fez Mellah was home to the Jewish population and is part of the Middle Town. Its architecture is distinct and different from the rest of the city. The New Town, also called the Ville Nouveau, was built by the French.