University of al-Qarawiyyin, Fes (must see)
The al-Qarawiyyin played a leading role in the cultural and academic relations between the Islamic world and Europe in the middle ages. The cartographer Mohammed al-Idrisi (d. 1166), whose maps aided European exploration in the Renaissance is said to have lived in Fes for some time, suggesting that he may have worked or studied at al-Qarawiyyin. The University has produced numerous scholars who have strongly influenced the intellectual and academic history of the Muslim and Jewish worlds.
Compared with the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul or the Jameh Mosque in Isfahan, the design of the mosque is austere. The columns and arches are plain white; the floors are covered in reed mats, not lush carpets. Yet the seemingly endless forest of arches creates a sense of infinite majesty and intimate privacy, while the simplicity of the design complements the finely decorated niches, pulpit and outer courtyard, with its superb tiles, plasterwork, woodcarvings and paintings.
Why You Should Visit:
Non-muslims can see the traditional courtyard with the washing area (only for men) and the prayer area. The mixture of indoor and outdoor space truly makes the place amazing.
In exchange for a little tip, the Muslim guardians can take your camera/phone and walk inside the mosque taking random photos, which can give you a feeling of what you're missing.
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 Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.
University of al-Qarawiyyin on Map
Walking Tours in Fes, Morocco
Still, Fez's Ville Nouvelle is as much 'real' Morocco as any donkey-packed lane in the old city.... view more
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
In the year 789 Idris I founded the city and the Idrisid dynasty. The city was two settlements on either side of the river. In the 11th century, Sultan Yusuf ibn Tashfin established Almoravid rule. He united the settlements into Fes el-Bali. The Almoravids were... view more
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 Km or 2.3 Miles