Dar al-Magana (Water Clock), Fes

Dar al-Magana (Water Clock), Fes

Dar al-Magana means, "House of the Clock" in Arabic. The house is a shelter for the works of a water clock, usually an enormous mechanism. The water clock of Fes was built in the 14th century by the Marinid sultan Abu Inan Faris. It is located across from the Bou Inania Madrassa on Tala'a Kebira Street. It was to serve both mosque and madrassa.

There is a legend that claims the house of the water clock was the residence, at one time, of the Jewish philosopher Maimonides. Maimonades was also an astromoner. A "muwaqqit" in Arabic. A muwaqqit would be responsible for a water clock. This may be the start of the legend.

The clock consists of 12 windows and platforms holding brass bowls. A small cart, pulled by ropes, ran behind the doors of the twelve windows. The cart had a weight at one end of the rope. At the other end the rope connected to a weight floating in a reservoir of water that drained at a controlled rate.

A door opened each hour and a ball dropped into one of the 12 brass bowls. A roof sheltered the doors and bowls. Sadly the clock has been out of commission for several generations. No one knows how to restore it. Where is a muwaqqit when you need one?

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Fes. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Dar al-Magana (Water Clock) on Map

Sight Name: Dar al-Magana (Water Clock)
Sight Location: Fes, Morocco (See walking tours in Fes)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Fes, Morocco

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Create Your Own Walk in Fes

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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 Km or 2.3 Miles