Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The History of Fez,The Spiritual Capital city of Morocco

Dean of the imperial cities, Fez was founded in 789 AD by Idris I, a descendant of the prophet. His son, Sultan Idriss II, decided in 809 to establish the seat of the dynasty. From 818, the sultan in his city welcomes 8000 Andalusian Muslim families. Seven years later, this new population is strengthened by the arrival of Jews and Kairouan (Tunisia). Rich heritages of these multiple religious, cultural and architectural Fez is quickly becoming the religious and cultural center of Morocco.
Therefore, despite the dynastic wars and periods where it was not the official capital of the country, the imperial city has never ceased to expand and embellish. Today, Fez is probably the most authentic city in North Africa. The intellectual influence of his
Koranic university Karaouiyne and its famous mosque, its art treasures Arabo-Andalusian, its medieval medina of Fez el-Bali (Old Fez)and its highly skilled artisans make the guardian of the traditions of Islam.
Idris I, founder the late eighth century, persecuted by the Abbasids in Baghdad Idriss takes refuge among the Berbers of central Morocco. In 789 he founded his capital on the right bank of the Oued Fez.
It will be the first Islamic city in the country. His younger son, Idriss II, is hosting hundreds of Arabs from North Africa and central Spain. The Andalusian district - El Adowa - was founded by the Muslim refugees from Spain in 818. Nearly 1400 families arrived in Cordoba Andalusia settled there. Seven years later evicted from Kairouan (present-day Tunisia), three hundred families of artisans and merchants wealthy, educated, accustomed to urban life, are west of the river in the area known as The Sahara of Kairouan veiled, Youssef Ben Tachfine, besieged Fez in 1063 and entered the city in 1069.
The writer Abu Obeid al-Bakri described it thus: "Fez is composed of two cities, one beside the other and each surrounded by a wall. They are separated by a river that runs very fast mills and which is crossed by bridges. " Both cities have large populations with a strong Jewish minority. The winner Almoravid quick to shoot down the walls, to establish a single enclosure and building, away from a fortress. Founder of Marrakech, the new ruler does not choose Fez as their capital. The city is however a growing artistic and intellectual marked by the erection in 1096 of the COLLEGE OF PATIENTS Almoravids madrasah provided with a library, and the reopening of the road to gold saharienne.La pulpit from which the top the preacher at the end of his sermon, calls the glory of the dynasty in place, is the symbol of political power and religieux.Le panel Fatimid period (above) and the Umayyad era record (the cons ) are the witnesses of the war between the Fatimids and the Umayyads to the seizure of power.
In 985, the Umayyad caliph signed his victory by giving the minbar this new folder. Royal procession. Every Friday, sulting went to the Grand Mosque, escorted by his guards in black holding, pageantry and preceded by the cavalry and infantry which kept the enthusiastic crowd to leave the field open to the royal procession. He joined the faithful at the Friday prayer.
Abd el-ALMOHAD Moumem the middle of the twelfth century, Almohad Sultan Abd al-Moumem seized the city, "frequented by travelers from all countries." Its inhabitants traded with Spain, the central Maghrib, the Sahara, the East and even some Christian countries. Andalusian refugees, accommodated in Fez, introduce new techniques of silk weaving, leather working and metals. At the end of the twelfth century, Fez has one hundred and twenty thousand houses in the early thirteenth century, three thousand five hundred factories. The prosperous city.
The APOGEE In the first half of the thirteenth century, Almohad weakness benefits the Marinids. Fez becomes the capital of the empire in 1250, for two centuries. Mérinides emerge as rulers of great builders. They are a prestigious city of Fez. It will have its heyday in the early fourteenth century. Mérinides oscillate between two policies: the expansion of their power in North Africa and the resumption of traditional south-north facing Spain. Fez, the hub of these operations gets a new administrative city.
Fes el-Jadid. Inside the chamber, rise palaces, mosques, fortresses and barracks. Muslim schools are the subject of special care. These areas serve as centers of prayer training policy frameworks designed to ensure the Islamization of North Africa imperial unit of North Africa from the west. Early in the fifteenth century, international trade is flourishing. Merchants leave for China, India, East Africa, Persia. The Fassi sell grain leather and Portugal, imported fabrics and industrial products English, exporting hides and rugs in Europe. In 1437, the discovery of the tomb of Idris runs a popular worship for the city's patron. The Jewish Quarter is created near the palace of the Jamai family.
In the second half of the fifteenth century, Fez is affected by the unrest in the kingdom by the end of the Marinids. It is marked by the appearance of the new dynasty Wattas Beni in 1471 with the arrival of Muslims and Jews expelled from Spain in 1492 and, indirectly, by the arrival of the Portuguese in the Atlantic ports.
The success of the South Shorfa Saadian allow winners to move to Marrakech in 1524 and capture of Fez in 1549. The city lost its status as capital in favor of Marrakech. In the early seventeenth century, Fez known outbreaks of plague, famine, poverty and civil wars depopulated the city.
POWER POLITICS In 1666, Moulay Rachid restored order, revived the trade and chooses again Fez as their capital.
After a long period of unrest in the first half of the eighteenth century, the city will regain its calm and its prestige in the eighteenth century, through the alliance of the military and leaders of the old University of Qaraouiyne, seat a real political force. Competition from burgeoning economic activity in Casablanca, Fez remains radiation religious, intellectual and commercial.
The Protectorate in 1911, Moulay Hafid, faced with an insurgency, called on French troops. Some months later, in March 1912, he signed the Convention of Fez, the treaty establishing a French protectorate over Morocco. It develops when the modern city, known as European, as a planning very regular. This new city coexists with the old and Fez, an ancient city, known to preserve his inner self while remaining open to modernism. Fez gives the status of capital Rabat later, but remains the spiritual capital of Morocco deep into history.


  1. Thanks so much for this information! I will soon be visiting Fes and am SO looking forward to it!

  2. Hey,am glad you visited my blog,you are welcome here over Fes/Morocco and wish you a good journey,thank you very much for your comment :)