Fez el-Jadid

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Fez El-Jadid (“New” Fez), is new relative only to its immediate surroundings, Fez El-Bali (“Old” Fez); Fez El-Jadid is a walled medina built in the 13th Century by a sultan distrustful of the inhabitants of neighbouring Fez El-Bali. Much of the area is taken up by the Royal Palace, not open to visitors, but with a vast and imposing front gate that is one of the classic Fez backdrops.

Fez El-Jadid is also notable for its Jewish heritage. In common with most Moroccan cities, Fez had a thriving Jewish community until relatively recently, packed into mellahs (Jewish quarters). The mellah in Fez is typical, with outward looking balconies (in contrast to the blank-faced outer walls of Moroccan medina dwellings), a beautiful restored synagogue and a melancholy Jewish cemetery.

A respite from the towering walls and narrow streets of the medina, the Jnan Sbil gardens are a peaceful green space punctuated with mirroring pools, splashing fountains and gurgling water channels. Your tour concludes north of the city at the Borj Nord, a 16th century fort built on the hills overlooking the city, and today affording a wonderful panorama of the sprawling, dense, chaotic and confusing labyrinths of Fez El-Bali and Fez El-Jadid.

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