The City of Fez (Part 2)

As we finished our lecture on Sufism taught by Professor Sadiq Reddad it was time for our historical tour of Fez. I was very much excited for this part of the trip as this was the opportunity to explore Fez and the architectural beauty of the city. During our tour, we got to see Zaouia Moulay Idriss II. Zaouia Moulay Idriss II is considered to be Medina’s most holy shrines of Fez. It is dedicated towards the founder of Fez, who was also known as the ruler of Morocco from 807 to 828. Although I was unable to enter into the shrine because I am not a Muslim I was able to see a part of the exterior and tomb at the entrance. The design of the tomb was beautiful done and definitely cannot be described of how intrinsic it was. Some say that Muslims who do visit the shrine is blessed with good luck and for women specifically, it is believed that it will help their fertility because of their visit. Zaouia Moulay Idriss II contains a wooden ceiling with detailed carvings that will make you wonder how something can look so extravagant. The main gate shows a fountain in the middle of the courtyard that is decorated by stucco around the gate and the doors.

As we finished our tour at the shrine of Zaouia Moulay Idriss II we moved onto weaver’s souk in the medina. The craftsmen weaving at his station created scarves, carpets and robes from silk and cactus threads. The artisanal work that these men created using colourful threads amazed me as the threads came to life into beautiful scarves with various patterns. We learned the art of weaving as well as the different types of methods used. We got to see the craftsman at work at his weaving station. The persistence and detail the craftsman used creating the scarves was so captivating. We got to go to the tanners’ quarter where workers dried hides in dyeing pits to create leather. This factory is specifically designed during the medieval times of Morocco. The tanners’ quarter was absolutely an experience as the hides are usually soaked in pigeon excretion. As this was usually the normal case at this site, when we got to the location the tanner was being cleaned out. We were so lucky for that.

The very last thing on the list in Fez was exploring Volubilis. As we had quickly completed our historical sightseeing and shopping in the medina of Fez, we decided to venture Volubilis. 44 miles away from Fez to Meknes, there are Roman ruins of Volubilis. As you walk through this site, you can see well-preserved Roman designs and montages. This site was once ruled by the Romans but eventually fell to the tribes before becoming owned by Idris ibn Abdallah, known as the founder of the Morocco. As he returned back to Fez, the memorable site made by stone and marble influenced the resurrection of Meknes by Sultan Moulay Ismail. Although Fez’s temperature took me by surprise, this exotic city not only contained the countries spirituality but also the authentic culture of Morocco.
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