Photo Friday: Fez Medina Panorama

Fez Medina Panorama

I took this photograph of the ancient Fez medina from a vantage point overlooking Morocco’s old Imperial capital.

Often called the Mecca of the West, Fez is Morocco’s cultural and spiritual center and its UNESCO World Heritage-listed walled medina is the world’s largest car-free urban area.

The American writer and longtime Moroccan resident Paul Bowles called it “an enchanted labyrinth sheltered from time.”

Once the end of the gold trading route that stretched all the way to Timbuktu, Fez has the oldest continuously functioning university in the world, the University of Al-Karaouine, founded by women in AD859.

Today people live and work in its 9000 laneways much the same way as they have for a thousand or so years. Craft guilds still produce butter-soft leather, copper ware, cactus-silk cloth and much more. Donkeys remain the main form of transport.

If you’d like some insider tips on getting beneath the tourist trail in Fez and connecting with the locals, see my post Insider’s Guide to Fez.



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Fez 34.033333, -5.000000

Sue Gough Henly

Sue Gough Henly is award-winning travel writer and photographer whose bi-line has appeared in The New York Times, Travel & Leisure, The Guardian, The Toronto Star and all the major Australian publications. Her travel blog, Genuine Journeys, is full of insider tips on the best places for authentic experiences and luxury splurges. She is also the author of Australia’s Best Places travel app. When she doesn’t have sand between her toes or a pack on her back, she writes about food, wine and culture.

4 comments to Photo Friday: Fez Medina Panorama

  • Paula Martin  says:

    What a photograph! Love it! Thanks for the story as well. I love these Photo Friday posts.

    • Sue Gough Henly  says:

      I’m really glad you like the Photo Friday posts. I use them to give a snapshot overview of special places or experiences and Fez certainly fits that category.

  • Seana - Sydney, Kids, Food + Travel  says:

    Lovely photo… and now I am racking my brain trying to remember if I went to Fez ever… ahhh… the years roll away… my overwhelming memory of being in Morocco in Jan 1987 was the markets of Marrakesh and walking up to the High Atlas… sigh….

    • Sue Gough Henly  says:

      I think you would remember if you have visited Fez! It is unlike any other place I have ever been. As Paul Bowles said, “It is a labyrinth lost to time” or something like that.

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