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Other spellings: Fes
City in Morocco with 1 million inhabitants (2005 estimate), situated in the interior of northern Morocco.
Looking over Fez from the Burj Sud. Photo: Andrés Romanos.
The royal palace.
The famous tanners' quarter of Fez.
The Kairaouine mosque.
It is the capital of the Fez-Boulemane region with 1.6 million inhabitants (2005 estimate) and an area of 19,795 km².
Fez is a religious, cultural and commercial centre. The city is famous for its mosque, the Kairaouine, which was the largest in Africa until the new mosque in Casablanca was finished.
The economy of Fez still has many traditional industries: textile and flour mills, oil-processing, tanneries, soap factories, and crafts of all sorts. The area surrounding Fez produces cereals, beans, olives and grapes. Sheep, goats, and cattle is also raised in the region.
Fez is strongly dominated by the old centres, while the modern centres serve as suburbs to the two old cities. Fez has given its name to the red, cylindrical hat used over most of the Muslim world.
789: The city is founded by Moulay Idriss on the east bank of the seasonal river, Fez. Fez therefore is the second Islamic town in Morocco, only Moulay Idriss being slightly older.
809: A new part of the town is established on the west bank of the river by Idris 2.
818: The El Andoua district is established by Muslim refugees from Andalucia.
825: The Kairouani district is established by refugees from Kairouan, Tunisia.
857: The Kairaouine mosque is founded by a wealthy woman from Kairouan.
859: Establishment of the Kairaouine University.
917: Fez falls under the control of the Fatimid rulers.
953: The Fatimid representatives are forced out of Fez, and it reverts to the control of the Idrisids.
960: The Fatimids recapture Fez.
985: The Ommayyads take control over Fez.
1063: The Almoravid sultan, Yussuf bni Tashufin, starts sieging Fez.
1069: Fez falls into the hands of Yussuf bni Tachfin. At this point Fez consists of two walled cities, separated by the river. Following his victory, Yussuf starts joining the two cities with one wall.
Around 1200: Fez is an important city with 120,000 inhabitants, many native artistic and industrial products, such as silk-weaving, leatherwork, and metalworks. Much of the city's success comes from the large immigration of Andulucian refugees.
1269: The Merenids make Fez their new capital, at the expense of Marrakech. This marks the beginning of the greatest period of Fez, when many great buildings and monuments are erected during the following two centuries.
1276: A new quarter begins to be built under the control of the Merenid sultan, Abu Yussuf. First, it is called the White City, but soon it gets the name, New Fez.
1437: The tomb of Idris 1 is located, and a tremendously popular cult finds its centre there.
1549: Fez is captured by the Saadians, and Marrakech becomes its capital.
1666: Following a period of unrest and poverty, Moulay Rashid takes control over Fez, and makes it his capital.
1912 March 30: Signing of the Treaty of Fez, in which Moulay Hafiz gives up Morocco to the French, making the country a protectorate.
1916 Arrival of the French is followed by the construction of the French-style city outside the traditional city walls.
1956: A large emigration from the Jewish quarters begins, following the independence of Morocco, and the fact that there is now a state of Israel.