by [Stas Sedov|http://rccam.livejournal.com] and [Sergey Shandin|http://www.airpano.com/fb.com/sergey.shandin],
members of the [AirPano Team|Geography/About/Consortium/AirPano,_Team] that is a member of the [global-geography Consortium|Geography/About/Consortium]. \\

5 August 2015

with kind permission of [AirPano|http://www.AirPano.com]

Throughout the long history of Morocco, the status of the capital
belonged to four different cities, in their own turn. Having lost this
status twice in the past, now Rabat is the actual capital of the
country. The other imperial cities of Morocco are Marrakech, Meknes and
Fes. Each of them, having survived the periods of rises and falls, has
preserved its architectural and cultural remainders of the glorious
past. Now we are inviting you to take a virtual trip over Fes, the most
ancient capital of Morocco.

[{Image src='01_Fes, Morocco.jpg' caption='Fes, Morocco' alt='' width='900' popup='false' height='456'}]

Fes was founded by the offspring of Mohammed β€” Idris ibn Abdullah.
Having escaped to the northern Africa in 784, he decided to create his
own state. Thus, on the eastern bank of the river Fes a city appeared
and later turned into the heart of the mighty state of Idrisid. The
empire had been existing till the end of the 10th century, and now in
the modern Morocco Idris I is considered to be the founder of the
national statehood.

[{Image src='02_Fes, Morocco.jpg' caption='Fes, Morocco' alt='' width='900' popup='false' height='457'}]

But unfortunately, he could not fully estimate the scale of the changes
he initiated as he was poisoned and died at the age of 46 years. The
famous Abbasid Caliph Harun al-Rashid (which ironically had the nickname
"Fair") is said to be guilty for the murder. Idris also was not lucky
enough to feel the joy of fatherhood, his only son was born two month
later after his death. But Idris II turned out to be a dignified
successor and, having reached the age of 20 years, founded one more city
on the opposite bank of the river. This was the city that got the name
Fes and became the capital of the state bearing the same name. Both
parts of the city were merged in the 11th century and by the end of 12th
century it had become one of the most populous cities of the Islamic

[{Image src='03_Fes, Morocco.jpg' caption='Fes, Morocco' alt='' width='900' popup='false' height='342'}]

Landmarks of Fes will let you get into the history and feel the
atmosphere of these legendary places. One of them is Fes El Bali, the
medina quarter which is surrounded by a medieval wall and inscribed by
UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. There are around 9400 streets and
side-streets, this is one of the biggest car-free area in the world.
Fronts and doors of many buildings have excellent decorations. The
medina is subdivided into different districts, belonging to different
social groups: weavers, shoemakers, potters, carpetmakers...

[{Image src='04_Fes, Morocco.jpg' caption='Fes, Morocco' alt='' width='900' popup='false' height='695'}]

Fes El Bali also includes the religious University of al-Karaouine β€” the
oldest existing, continually operating educational institution in the
world. Its mosque has a capacity of 20 thousand people and was the
biggest mosque in the Northern Africa at the period of the Middle Age.
The al-Karaouine also possesses one of the most sacred objects of the
country β€” the tomb of Idris II.

[{Image src='05_Fes, Morocco.jpg' caption='Fes, Morocco' alt='' width='900' popup='false' height='827'}]

The other (β€˜new') medina quarter, called Fes Jdid, was founded in the
13th century by the Berber dynasty of Marinid. It is surrounded by
fortified walls, which inclose Jewish quarter Mellah with the Ibn Danan
synagogue, the former defensive fortress of Qasba Sherarda and the royal
palace of Dar El Makhzen occupying at least 100 hectares. This palace is
something we should describe in detail because it is said to be one of
the most outstanding monument of the whole country.

[{Image src='06_Fes, Morocco.jpg' caption='Fes, Morocco' alt='' width='900' popup='false' height='600'}]

Being surrounded by high walls, this palace complex has luxurious bronze
engraved gates with hammers. Marble fountains can be found in two
courtyards. The chambers of Sultan are decorated with exquisite mosaic
and artistic sculptures. The palace was built in the 17th century and
for quite a long time had the status of the main residence of the
rulers. And even now the access to the palace is only possible for the
high-ranking officials, not for ordinary people. But you can have a good
look at this palace as well as many other monuments of Morocco during
our virtual tour. Have a nice trip!

[{Image src='07_Fes, Morocco.jpg' caption='Fes, Morocco' alt='' width='900' popup='false' height='384'}]

\\ \\
[15 Panoramas of Fes|Geography/Africa/Morocco/Pictures/Panoramas_of_Fes]

[{SET customtitle='Fes (AP)'}]            

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