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The Ancient Fes el Bali Medina, Morocco.....

....and surrounds.

30 °C

A walk through the narrow Medina streets of Fes el Bali ( old Fes) is a fascinating experience of a city built around AD 789 and is now a Unesco world heritage site, this date obviously predates the invention of the internal combustion engine when all transport was only possible by donkeys and the larger more powerful mules, and so it remains today because the cobbled streets are too narrow for motor vehicles. The main thoroughfare is Rue Talaa Kebira ( long climb) which stretches from the famous blue gate, Bab Boujloud, becoming Rue Chrablyine then Souk Attarine and ending at the tinsmiths' Souk Place Seffarine. A street now branching to the left, Rue Mechatine, passing through Bab Nokba leads to the famous Chaouwara Tanneries, recently refurbished as a major tourist and historian attraction, but like the rest of the Medina is still an everyday working site.

Another interesting attraction in the Talaa Kebira is the Medieval Magana water clock, the working parts have been absent for some years now while experts try to find out how it worked, only the preserved wooden supports are at present large_23977D3C935E9D5C3FA23437B3CA8B0C.jpglarge_23955509B79B85EA44BC268FDF59E770.jpglarge_485cde50-64c9-11e8-8fb8-f52174de0480.jpglarge_eaa7dfe0-64c7-11e8-8fb8-f52174de0480.jpgFes el Bali Boujloud gate and Societe bank.....

Fes el Bali Boujloud gate and Societe bank.....

Fes el Bali blacksmiths shop.......

Fes el Bali blacksmiths shop.......

Fes el Bali Seffarine square....

Fes el Bali Seffarine square....

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Perhaps the most popular Fes el Bali Attraction is the famous 17th century Chouwara Tannery, the quality of leather produced using time-honoured methods might be reflected by European books being sent to Fes for leather binding, the recently-refurbished working site now looks like this....
Fes el Bali Chouara tannery overview of new vats

Fes el Bali Chouara tannery overview of new vats

Fes el Bali Choara tannery washing machine

Fes el Bali Choara tannery washing machine

Fes el Bali Chouara tannery weaver shop proprietor and loom

Fes el Bali Chouara tannery weaver shop proprietor and loom

Fes el Bali medina an overview of the Chouara tannery

Fes el Bali medina an overview of the Chouara tannery

If planning a visit to Fes el Bali the city bus station is located a ten minute walk from the blue gate, Bab Boujloud, the railway station is two miles away so a Petit taxi will be required, there are always plenty on the rank outside the station......large_6e894920-aed8-11e8-8ca0-fbe7e4b773aa.jpg

Most of the tourist attractions now have information boards located beside the relevant site, as shown at the main gate of the Jnane Sbil gardens.....Fes el Bali Jnane Sbil tourist info board

Fes el Bali Jnane Sbil tourist info board

and throughout the confusing Medina streets there are colour-coded tourist trail signs to keep the tourist on track, alternatively official guides can be commissioned at Hotel Batha reception desk, the rates for half a day are 200 dirhams, full day 400 dirhams and excursions out of Fes 500 dirhams, but a Grand taxi will be required and added to the bill.

Many of the best views of Fes el Bali Medina can be enjoyed from any of the many flat rooftop terraces, in this instance from the roof terrace of the restaurant Bouanania.........
Fes el Bali Restaurant Bou Inania

Fes el Bali Restaurant Bou Inania

At certain times of the year Fes receives significant rainfall, usually Spring and Autumn, so many parts of the Souks have cane canopies to shelter shoppers and keep the streets dry and clean......

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Further along Rue Talaa Kebira where it becomes Chrabliyene is the hide factory, an old converted Fondouk ( travellers' Inn) where animal hides are stripped from their carcasses before being loaded onto donkeys for the journey along to the Chouwara tannery for processing.....

Fes el Bali Chrabilyene animal hide factory

Fes el Bali Chrabilyene animal hide factory

Another site from where the panoramic Medina can be observed is at the Merinides Necropolis, slowly crumbling on the distant el Qolla hillside, there is a road connection for cars, but a shortcut can be made by scrambling up over rough terrain large_807490c0-b9a7-11e8-a9b1-73638cde9d14.jpgfrom the Fes circular road R501.........

The famous medieval Chouwara tannery is a big tourist attraction, it was completely restored in 2016 and unofficial ( but tolerated) guides are the best way of exploring the site at close quarters, they can show the tourist the best locations for photography, for which a small fee of 20 dirhams is normally requested. The new refurbished tannery has a "sanitised" appearance which will probably disappear as time passes, this picture shows how the old site appeared prior to the restoration............

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A recent addition to the tourist-popular landscape is the welcome "relief" of new public toilet facilities in Boujloud Square close to the famous blue gate, these are spotlessly clean ( at the moment) cater for both genders and disabled tourists, and have been artistically designed in the local style of colourful tiles with a beautiful little fountain as centrepiece with water vertically flowing out. The attendant's office is situated at the front door to collect small tips from satisfied customers ( and intercept freeloaders!)

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Posted by Bennytheball 10:27 Archived in Morocco Tagged archeological

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Comments

Beautiful blog, stunning pictures, though I did not like the camel head! I'm too squeamish. All the best,
Irene

by irenevt

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