Fez Adventures Part III • Mosques & Religious Institutes
Religious establishments in Fes el Bali all displayed such exotic architecture!
Right at the very eastern end of Talaa Kebira were two main religious attractions of Fez. The first we visited was Medersa el-Attarine, which was built in 1325. We were so fascinated by the intricate mosaics and the carved plaster walls and wooden doors.
It was mesmerizing to see all the patterns, and I wish I could understand all the meanings and techniques behind the carvings. Here I’ve found a good introductory description on the beauty of Medersa el-Attarine at the official Morocco website.
With a low admission fee of Dh10 (less than 1 Euro), the Medersa el-Attarine was definitely work a visit.
Mosquee et Universite Karaouine
The University of al-Karaouine was founded in 859 and, according to UNESCO, is the oldest existing educational institute. It’s right across the street from Medersa el-Attarine and we found it right at the end of Talaa Kebira. Closed to non-Muslim visitors, we were only able to take a peek from outside.
[Tony got to pose with a Fez hat / tarboosh sold by a vendor outside the university, hehe.]
Medersa Bou Inania
Located on the west end of Talaa Kebira, right across from Café Clock (where we ate our first meal), Medersa Bou Inania served as both an institute and as a mosque. Most mosques in Morocco are closed to non-Muslims, so this was the perfect opportunity for us to look inside one!
Built in 1356, the madrasa was a perfect example of Merenid architecture. The courtyard was more spacious at Medersa Bou Inania than at Medersa el-Attarine, and from within the courtyard one could see the minaret towering in the sky. There were beautiful patterns everywhere, and I couldn’t help but go a little overboard with taking photos. I love the photo of Bonnie in front of the main door!