One of the restored historical sites to visit in the Fez medina is the Fondouk el-Nejjarine. When built in the 18th century it functioned as a fondouk, a kind of traveler’s inn where travelers could rest for periods of time along their journey. It is a square built with a central courtyard, almost like a riad, and allows for the storage of goods and shelter for animals, in addition to housing travelers and merchants. In times of war or conflict, the fondouk also served as a refuge for those housed within.
This wouldn’t be considered a full restoration, as the building is no longer functioning as a traditional fondouk, but rather the Fondouk el-Nejjarine is now a Museum of Wooden Arts and Crafts. Throughout the ground level and two floors above, one can find many beautiful creations showcasing the skill of the woodcarvers and artists. The objects ranged from kitchen utensils and weaponry to furniture and even a room full of wooden doors. At the top of the Fondouk is a roof terrace with a coffee shop, where we had a short class session with the Archaeologist Professor, Dr. Said Ennahid.
I generally enjoyed touring the Fondouk. It cost only 20 dirhams to enter and view the facilities. After taking photos in four or so rooms, I quickly found out that we were not allowed to when a lady started waving at me and quite sternly mouthed to stop taking photos from across the building. Alas, the crafts from this fondouk cannot be shared unless one ventures to Fez themselves!