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Fez or Fes (/fɛz/; Arabic: فاس‎, romanizedfās, Berber languages: ⴼⴰⵙ, romanized: fas) is a city in northern inland Morocco and the capital of the Fès-Meknès administrative region. It is the second largest city in Morocco after Casablanca,[4] with a population of 1.22 million (2020). Located to the northeast of the Atlas Mountains, Fez is situated at a crossroad connecting the important cities of different regions; 206 km (128 mi) from Tangier to the northwest, 246 km (153 mi) from Casablanca, 189 km (117 mi) from Rabat to the west, and 387 km (240 mi) from Marrakesh to the southwest which leads to the Trans-Saharan trade route. It is surrounded by hills and the old city is centered around the Fez River (Oued Fes) flowing from west to east.

Fez was founded under Idrisid rule during the 8th-9th centuries CE. It initially consisted of two autonomous and competing settlements. Successive waves of mainly Arab immigrants from Ifriqiya (Tunisia) and al-Andalus (Spain/Portugal) in the early 9th century gave the nascent city its Arab character. After the downfall of the Idrisid dynasty, other empires came and went until the 11th century when the Almoravid Sultan Yusuf ibn Tashfin united the two settlements into what is today's Fes el-Bali quarter. Under Almoravid rule, the city gained a reputation for religious scholarship and mercantile activity. Fez reached its zenith in the Marinid era (13th-15th centuries), regaining its status as political capital. Numerous new madrasas and mosques were constructed, many of which survive today, while other structures were restored. These buildings are counted among the hallmarks of Moorish and Moroccan architectural styles. In 1276 the Marinid sultan Abu Yusuf Yaqub also founded the royal administrative district of Fes el-Jdid, where the royal palace is still located today, to which extensive gardens were later added. During this period the Jewish population of the city grew and the Mellah (Jewish quarter) was formed on the south side of this new district. After the overthrow of the Marinid dynasty, Fez largely declined and subsequently competed with Marrakesh for political and cultural influence, but remained as the capital under the Wattasids and in modern times up until 1912.

Today, the city consists of two old medina quarters, Fes el-Bali and Fes el-Jdid, and the much larger modern urban Ville Nouvelle area founded during the French colonial era. The medina of Fez is listed as a World Heritage Site and is believed to be one of the world's largest urban pedestrian zones (car-free areas).[5] It has the University of Al Quaraouiyine which was founded in 859 and is considered by some to be the oldest continuously functioning institute of higher education in the world. It also has Chouara Tannery from the 11th century, one of the oldest tanneries in the world. The city has been called the "Mecca of the West" and the "Athens of Africa," a nickname it shares with Cyrene in Libya.[6]

Etymology

Fez or Fas was derived from the Arabic word فأس Faʾs which means pickaxe, which legends say Idris I of Morocco used when he created the lines of the city. One noticeable thing was that the pickaxe was made from silver and gold.[7][8]

During the rule of the Idrisid dynasty, Fez consisted of two cities: Fas, founded by Idris I,[9] and al-ʿĀliyá, founded by his son, Idris II. During Idrisid rule the capital city was known as al-ʿĀliyá, with the name Fas being reserved for the separate site on the other side of the river; no Idrisid coins have been found with the name Fez, only al-ʿĀliyá and al-ʿĀliyá Madinat Idris. It is not known whether the name al-ʿĀliyá ever referred to both urban areas. It wasn't until 1070 that the two agglomerations were united and the name Fas was used for the combined site.[10]

History

Economy

Historically, the city was one of Morocco's main centers of trade and craftsmanship. The tanning industry, for example, still embodied by tanneries of Fes el-Bali today, was a major source of exports and economic sustenance since the city's early history.[46] Up until the late 19th century, the city was the only place in the world which fabricated the fez hat.[11] The city's commerce was concentrated along its major streets, like Tala'a Kebira, and around the central bazaar known as the Kissariat al-Kifah from which many other souqs (markets) branched off.[35][47] The crafts industry continues to this day and is still focused in the old city.[11]

Today, the city's surrounding countryside, the fertile Saïss plains, is an important source of agricultural activity producing primarily cereals, beans, olives, and grapes, as well as raising livestock.[11][48] Tourism is also a major industry due to the city's UNESCO-listed historic medina.[11] Religious tourism is also present due to the old city's many major zawiyas (Islamic shrines), such as the Zawiya of Moulay Idris II and the Zawiya of Sidi Ahmed al-Tijani, which attract both Moroccan and international (especially West African) pilgrims.[49] The city and the region still struggle with unemployment and economic precarity.[50]

Landmarks

Medina of Fez

The historic city of Fez consists of Fes el-Bali, the original city founded by the Idrisid dynasty on both shores of the Oued Fes (River of Fez) in the late 8th and early 9th centuries, and the smaller Fez el-Jdid, founded on higher ground to the west in the 13th century. It is distinct from Fez's now much larger Ville Nouvelle (new city) originally founded by the French. Fes el-Bali is the site of the famous Qarawiyyin University and the Mausoleum of Moulay Idris II, the most important religious and cultural sites, while Fez el-Jdid is the site of the enormous Royal Palace, still used by the King of Morocco today. These two historic cities are linked together and are usually referred to together as the "medina" of Fez, though this term is sometimes applied more restrictively to Fes el-Bali only.[a] Fez is becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination and many non-Moroccans are now restoring traditional houses (riads and dars) as second homes in the medina. Fez is also considered the cultural and spiritual capital of Morocco.[51] In 1981, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) proclaimed Medina of Fez a World Cultural Heritage site, as "[they] include a considerable number of religious, civil and military monuments that brought about a multi-cultural society. This architecture is characterised by construction techniques and decoration developed over a period of more than ten centuries, and where local knowledge and skills are interwoven with diverse outside inspiration (Andalusian, Middle Eastern and African). The Medina of Fez is considered as one of the most extensive and best conserved historic towns of the Arab-Muslim world."[52]

Panoramic view of the Old Medina

Places of worship

Inside the Zawiya of Moulay Idriss II, which contains the tomb of Idris II.

There are numerous historic mosques in the medina, some of which are part of a madrasa or zawiya. Among the oldest mosques still standing today are the highly prestigious Mosque of al-Qarawiyyin, founded in 857 (and subsequently expanded),[53] the Mosque of the Andalusians founded in 859–860,[54] the Bou Jeloud Mosque from the late 12th century,[55] and possibly the Mosque of the Kasbah en-Nouar (which may have existed in the Almohad period but was likely rebuilt much later[51][35]). The very oldest mosques of the city, dating back to its first years, were the Mosque of the Sharifs (or Shurafa Mosque) and the Mosque of the Sheikhs (or Historically, the city was one of Morocco's main centers of trade and craftsmanship. The tanning industry, for example, still embodied by tanneries of Fes el-Bali today, was a major source of exports and economic sustenance since the city's early history.[46] Up until the late 19th century, the city was the only place in the world which fabricated the fez hat.[11] The city's commerce was concentrated along its major streets, like Tala'a Kebira, and around the central bazaar known as the Kissariat al-Kifah from which many other souqs (markets) branched off.[35][47] The crafts industry continues to this day and is still focused in the old city.[11]

Today, the city's surrounding countryside, the fertile Saïss plains, is an important source of agricultural activity producing primarily cereals, beans, olives, and grapes, as well as raising livestock.[11][48] Tourism is also a major industry due to the city's UNESCO-listed historic medina.[11] Religious tourism is also present due to the old city's many major zawiyas (Islamic shrines), such as the Zawiya of Moulay Idris II and the Zawiya of Sidi Ahmed al-Tijani, which attract both Moroccan and international (especially West African) pilgrims.[49] The city and the region still struggle with unemployment and economic precarity.[50]

Landmarks

Medina of Fez

The historic city of Fez consists of Fes el-Bali, the original city founded by the Idrisid dynasty on both shores of the Oued Fes (River of Fez) in the late 8th and early 9th centuries, and the smaller Fez el-Jdid, founded on higher ground to the west in the 13th century. It is distinct from Fez's now much larger Ville Nouvelle (new city) originally founded by the French. Fes el-Bali is the site of the famous cereals, beans, olives, and grapes, as well as raising livestock.[11][48] Tourism is also a major industry due to the city's UNESCO-listed historic medina.[11] Religious tourism is also present due to the old city's many major zawiyas (Islamic shrines), such as the Zawiya of Moulay Idris II and the Zawiya of Sidi Ahmed al-Tijani, which attract both Moroccan and international (especially West African) pilgrims.[49] The city and the region still struggle with unemployment and economic precarity.[50]

The historic city of Fez consists of Fes el-Bali, the original city founded by the Idrisid dynasty on both shores of the Oued Fes (River of Fez) in the late 8th and early 9th centuries, and the smaller Fez el-Jdid, founded on higher ground to the west in the 13th century. It is distinct from Fez's now much larger Ville Nouvelle (new city) originally founded by the French. Fes el-Bali is the site of the famous Qarawiyyin University and the Mausoleum of Moulay Idris II, the most important religious and cultural sites, while Fez el-Jdid is the site of the enormous Royal Palace, still used by the King of Morocco today. These two historic cities are linked together and are usually referred to together as the "medina" of Fez, though this term is sometimes applied more restrictively to Fes el-Bali only.[a] Fez is becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination and many non-Moroccans are now restoring traditional houses (riads and dars) as second homes in the medina. Fez is also considered the cultural and spiritual capital of Morocco.[51] In 1981, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) proclaimed Medina of Fez a World Cultural Heritage site, as "[they] include a considerable number of religious, civil and military monuments that brought about a multi-cultural society. This architecture is characterised by construction techniques and decoration developed over a period of more than ten centuries, and where local knowledge and skills are interwoven with diverse outside inspiration (Andalusian, Middle Eastern and African). The Medina of Fez is considered as one of the most extensive and best conserved historic towns of the Arab-Muslim world."[52]

mosques in the medina, some of which are part of a madrasa or zawiya. Among the oldest mosques still standing today are the highly prestigious Mosque of al-Qarawiyyin, founded in 857 (and subsequently expanded),[53] the Mosque of the Andalusians founded in 859–860,[54] the Bou Jeloud Mosque from the late 12th century,[55] and possibly the Mosque of the Kasbah en-Nouar (which may have existed in the Almohad period but was likely rebuilt much later[51][35]). The very oldest mosques of the city, dating back to its first years, were the Mosque of the Sharifs (or Shurafa Mosque) and the Mosque of the Sheikhs (or al-Anouar Mosque); however, they no longer exist in their original form. The Mosque of the Sharifs was the burial site of Idris II and evolved into the Zawiya of Moulay Idris II that exists today, while the al-Anouar Mosque has left only minor remnants.[35] A number of mosques from the important Marinid era, when Fes el-Jdid was created to be the capital of Morocco, include the Great Mosque of Fez el-Jdid from 1276, the Abu al-Hassan Mosque from 1341,[56] the Chrabliyine Mosque from 1342,[57] the al-Hamra Mosque from around the same period (exact date unconfirmed),[58] and the Bab Guissa Mosque, also from the reign of Abu al-Hasan (1331-1351) but modified in later centuries.[59] Other major mosques from the more recent Alaouite period are the Moulay Abdallah Mosque, built in the early to mid-18th century with the tomb of Sultan Moulay Abdallah,[58] and the R'cif Mosque, built in the reign of Moulay Slimane (1793-1822).[60] The Zawiya of Moulay Idriss II (previously mentioned) and the Zawiya of Sidi Ahmed al-Tijani include mosque areas as well, as do several other prominent zawiyas in the city.[51][35] Elsewhere, the Jewish quarter (Mellah) is the site of the 17th-century Ibn Danan Synagogue and multiple other synagogues, though none of them are functioning today.[47][61][62] The Ville Nouvelle (New City) also includes many modern mosques.

Madrasas

The interior view of Al-Attarine Madrasa built by the Marinid sultan Abu al-Hassan in 1323–1325.

The city has traditionally retained the influential position as a religious capital in the region, exemplified by the Madrasa (or University) of al-Qarawiyyin which was established in 859 by Fatima al-Fihri originally as a mosque. The madrasa is the oldest existing and continually operating degree-awarding educational institution in the world according to UNESCO and Guinness World Records.[63][64] The Marinid dynasty (13th-15th century) devoted great attention to the construction of madrasas following the Maliki orthodoxy, resulting in the unprecedented prosperity of the city's re

The city has traditionally retained the influential position as a religious capital in the region, exemplified by the Madrasa (or University) of al-Qarawiyyin which was established in 859 by Fatima al-Fihri originally as a mosque. The madrasa is the oldest existing and continually operating degree-awarding educational institution in the world according to UNESCO and Guinness World Records.[63][64] The Marinid dynasty (13th-15th century) devoted great attention to the construction of madrasas following the Maliki orthodoxy, resulting in the unprecedented prosperity of the city's religious institutions. The first madrasa built during the Marinid era was the Saffarin Madrasa in Fes el Bali by Sultan Abu Yusuf in 1271.[65]:312 Sultan Abu al-Hassan was the most prolific patron of madrasa construction, completing the Al-Attarine, Mesbahiyya and Sahrij Madrasa in Fez alone, and several other madrasas as well in other cities such as Salé and Meknes. His son Abu Inan Faris built the famed Bou Inania Madrasa, and by the time of his death, every major city in the Marinid Empire had at least one madrasa.[66] The library of the Madrasa of al-Qarawiyyin was also established under Marinid rule around 1350, which stores a large selection of valuable manuscripts dating back to the medieval era.[51] The largest madrasa in the medina is Cherratine Madrasa commissioned by the Alaouite sultan Al-Rashid in 1670, which is the only major non-Marinid foundation besides the Madrasa of al-Qarawiyyin.[67]

Fortifications

City walls and gates

Chellah as well.[66] City walls were placed into the current positions during the 11th century, under the Almoravid rule. During this period, the two formerly divided cities known as Madinat Fas and al-'Aliya were united under a single enclosure. The Almoravid fortifications were later destroyed and then rebuilt by the Almohad dynasty in the 12th century, under Caliph Muhammad al-Nasir.[35] The oldest sections of the walls today thus date back to this time.[47] These fortifications were restored and maintained by the Marinid dynasty from the 12th to 16th centuries, along with the founding of the royal citadel-city of Fes el-Jdid.[68] Construction of the new city's gates and towers sometimes employed the labour of Christian prisoners of war.[66]

The gates of Fez, scattered along the circuit of walls, were guarded by the military detachments and shut at night.[66] Some of the main gates have existed, in different forms, since the earliest years of the city.[35] The oldest gates today, and historically the most important ones of the city, are Bab Mahrouk (in the west), Bab Guissa (in the northeast), and Bab Ftouh (in the southeast).[35][47] After the foundation of Fes Jdid by the Marinids in the 13th century, new walls and three new gates such as Bab Dekkakin, Bab Semmarine, and Bab al-Amer were established along its perimeter.[69][70] Later, in modern times, the gates became more ceremonial rather than defensive structures, as reflected by the 1913 construction of the decorative gates of Fez, scattered along the circuit of walls, were guarded by the military detachments and shut at night.[66] Some of the main gates have existed, in different forms, since the earliest years of the city.[35] The oldest gates today, and historically the most important ones of the city, are Bab Mahrouk (in the west), Bab Guissa (in the northeast), and Bab Ftouh (in the southeast).[35][47] After the foundation of Fes Jdid by the Marinids in the 13th century, new walls and three new gates such as Bab Dekkakin, Bab Semmarine, and Bab al-Amer were established along its perimeter.[69][70] Later, in modern times, the gates became more ceremonial rather than defensive structures, as reflected by the 1913 construction of the decorative Bab Bou Jeloud gate at the western entrance of Fes el-Bali by the French colonial administration.[47]

Along with the city walls and gates, several forts were constructed along the defensive perimeters of the medina during the different time periods. The military watchtowers built in its early days during the Idrisid era were relatively small. However, the city rapidly developed as the military garrison center of the region during the Almoravid era, in which the military operations were commanded and carried out to other North African regions and Southern Europe to the north, and Senegal river to the south. Subsequently, it led to the construction of numerous forts, kasbahs, and towers for both garrison and defense. A "kasbah" in the context of Maghrebi region is the traditional military structure for fortification, military preparation, command and control. Some of them were occupied as well by citizens, certain tribal groups, and merchants. Throughout the history, 13 kasbahs were constructed surrounding the old city.[71] Among the most prominent among them is the Kasbah An-Nouar, located at the western or north-western tip of Fes el-Bali, which dates back to the Almohad era but was restored and repurposed under the Alaouites.[35] Today, it is an example of a kasbah serving as a residential district much like the rest of the medina, with its own neighborhood mosque. The Kasbah Bou Jeloud, which no longer exists as a kasbah today, was once the governor's residence and stood near Bab Bou Jeloud, south of the Kasbah an-Nouar.[35] It too had its own mosque, known as the Bou Jeloud Mosque. Other kasbahs include the Kasbah Tamdert, built by the Saadis near Bab Ftouh, and the Kasbah Cherarda, built by the Alaouite sultan Moulay al-Rashid just north of Fes Jdid.[47][35] Kasbah Dar Debibagh is one of the newest kasbahs, built in 1729 during the Alaouite era at 2 km from the city wall in a strategic position.[71][72] The Saadis also built a number of strong bastions in the late 16th century to assert their control over Fes, including notably the Borj Nord which is among the largest strictly military structures in the city and now refurbished as a military museum.[73] Its sister fort, Borj Sud, is located on the hills to the south of the city.[35]

Tanneries

Leather tanning in Chouara

Since the inception of the city, tanning industry has been continually operating in the same fashion as it did in the early centuries. Today, the tanning industry in the city is considered one of the main tourist attractions. There are three tanneries in the city, largest among them is Chouara Tannery near the Saffarin Madrasa along the river. The tanneries are packed with the round stone wells filled with dye or white liquids for softening the hides. The leather goods produced in the tanneries are exported around the world.[74][75][76] The two other major tanneries are the Sidi Moussa Tannery to the west of the Zawiya of Moulay Idris II and the Ain Azliten Tannery in the neighbourhood of the same name on the northern edge of Fes el-Bali.[35]:220

Tombs and mausoleums

Located in the heart of Fes el Bali, the Zawiya of Moulay Idriss II is a zawiya (a shrine and religious complex; also spelled zaouia), dedicated to and containing the tomb of Idris II (or Moulay Idris II when including his sharifian title) who is considered the main founder of the city of Fez.[77][78] Another well-known and important zawiya is the Zawiya of Moulay Idriss II is a zawiya (a shrine and religious complex; also spelled zaouia), dedicated to and containing the tomb of Idris II (or Moulay Idris II when including his sharifian title) who is considered the main founder of the city of Fez.[77][78] Another well-known and important zawiya is the Zawiyia of Sidi Ahmed al-Tijani, which commemorates Sidi Ahmed al-Tijani, the founder of Tijaniyyah tariqa from the 18th century.[79] A number of zawiyas are scattered elsewhere across the city, many containing the tombs of important Sufi saints or scholars, such as the Zawiya of Sidi Abdelkader al-Fassi, the Zawiya of Sidi Ahmed esh-Shawi, and the Zawiya of Sidi Taoudi Ben Souda.[80]

The old city also has several major historic cemeteries which existed outside the main city gates, namely the cemeteries of Bab Ftouh (the most significant), Bab Mahrouk, and Bab Guissa.

The old city also has several major historic cemeteries which existed outside the main city gates, namely the cemeteries of Bab Ftouh (the most significant), Bab Mahrouk, and Bab Guissa. Some of these cemeteries include marabouts or domed structures containing the tombs of local Muslim saints (often considered Sufis). One of the most important ones is the Marabout of Sidi Harazem in the Bab Ftouh Cemetery.[35] To the north, near the Bab Guissa Cemetery, there are also the Marinid Tombs built during the 14th century as a necropolis for the Marinid sultans, ruined today but still a well-known landmark of the city.[47]

The Jnane Sbile Garden was created as a royal park and garden in the 19th century by Sultan Moulay Hassan I (ruled 1873-1894) between Fes el-Jdid and Fes el-Bali.[47]:296[35]:100 Today it is the oldest garden of Fes.[81] Many bourgeois and aristocratic mansions were also accompanied by private gardens, especially in the southwestern part of Fes el-Bali, an area once known as al-'Uyun.[35] Other gardens also exist within the grounds of the historic royal palaces of the city, such as the Agdal and Lalla Mina Gardens in the Dar al-Makhzen or the gardens of the Dar al-Beida (originally attached to Dar Batha).[47][35][82]

Funduqs/foundouks (historic merchant buildings)

hammams (public bathhouses in the Muslim world), thanks in part to their continued usage by locals up to the present day.[86][87][88] Notable examples, all dating from around the 14th century, include the Hammam as-Saffarin, the Hammam al-Mokhfiya, and the Hammam Ben Abbad.[89][86][87] They were generally built next to a well or natural spring which provided water, while the sloping topography of the city allowed for easy drainage.[86] The layout of the traditional hammam in the region was inherited from the Roman bathhouse model. The first major room visitors entered was the undressing room (mashlah in Arabic or goulsa in the local Moroccan Arabic dialect), equivalent to the Roman apodyterium. From the undressing room visitors proceeded to the bathing/washing area which consisted of three rooms: the cold room (el-barrani in the local Arabic dialect; equivalent to the frigidarium), the middle room or warm room (el-wasti in Arabic; equivalent to the tepidarium), and the hot room (ad-dakhli in Arabic; equivalent to the caldarium).[86][87] Though their architecture can be very functional, some of them, like the Hammam as-Saffarin and the Hammam al-Mokhfiya, have notable decoration. Although they are architecturally not very prominent from the exterior, they are recognizable from the rooftops by their pierced domes and vaults which usually covered the main chambers.[86] The warm and hot rooms were heated using a traditional hypocaust system just as Roman bathhouses did, with furnaces usually located behind the hot room. Fuel was provided by wood but also by recycling the waste by-products of other industries in the city such as wood shavings from carpenters' workshops and olive pits from the nearby olive presses. This traditional system continued to be used even up to the 21st century.[86]

Historic palaces and residences

Gates of the Alaouite Royal Palace (Dar al-Makhzen)

Many old private r

Many old private residences have also survived to this day, in various states of conservation. One type of house known, centered around an internal courtyard, is known as a riad.[47] Such private houses include the Dar al-Alami,[90] the Dar Saada (now a restaurant), Dar 'Adiyil, Dar Belghazi, and others.[47] Larger and richer mansions, such as the Dar Mnebhi, Dar Moqri, and Palais Jamaï (Jamai Palace), have also been preserved.[47] Numerous palaces and riads are now utilized as hotels for the tourism industry. The Palais Jamai, for example, was converted into a luxury hotel in the early 20th century.[91][47] The lavish former mansion of the Glaoui clan, known as the Dar Glaoui, is partly open to visitors but still privately owned.[92]

As a former capital, the city contains several royal palaces as well. Dar Batha is a former palace completed by the Alaouite Sultan Moulay Abdelaziz (ruled 1894-1908) and turned into a museum in 1915 with around 6,000 pieces.[35][93] A large area of Fes el-Jdid is also taken up by the 80-hectare Royal Palace, or Dar al-Makhzen, whose new ornate gates (built in 1969-71) are renowned but whose grounds are not open to the public as they are still used by the King of Morocco when visiting the city.[82]

Education

Dar Batha is a former palace completed by the Alaouite Sultan Moulay Abdelaziz (ruled 1894-1908) and turned into a museum in 1915 with around 6,000 pieces.[35][93] A large area of Fes el-Jdid is also taken up by the 80-hectare Royal Palace, or Dar al-Makhzen, whose new ornate gates (built in 1969-71) are renowned but whose grounds are not open to the public as they are still used by the King of Morocco when visiting the city.[82]

The University of Al Quaraouiyine is considered by some to be the oldest continually-operating university in the world.[94][95] The university was first founded as a mosque by Fatima al-Fihri in 859 which subsequently became one of the leading spiritual and educational centers of the historic Muslim world.[96] It became a state university in 1963, and remains an important institution of learning today.[97]

Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University is a public university founded in 1975 and is the largest in the city by attendance, counting over 86,000 students in 2020.[98][99][100] It has 12 faculties with sites across the city, with two main campuses known as Dhar El Mehraz and Sais.[99] Another public university, the Euromed University of Fez, was created in 2012 and is certified by the Union for the Mediterranean.[101][102]

The city's first private university, the Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University is a public university founded in 1975 and is the largest in the city by attendance, counting over 86,000 students in 2020.[98][99][100] It has 12 faculties with sites across the city, with two main campuses known as Dhar El Mehraz and Sais.[99] Another public university, the Euromed University of Fez, was created in 2012 and is certified by the Union for the Mediterranean.[101][102]

The city's first private university, the Private University of Fez, was created in 2013 out of the École polytechnique de Technologie founded 5 years earlier.[103] Its main focus is its engineering school,[104] though it also offers diplomas in architecture, business, and law.[105]

The city is served by the region's main international airport, Fès–Saïs, located roughly 15 km south of the city center.[36] A new terminal was added to the airport in 2017 which expanded the airport's capacity to 2.5 million visitors a year.[106]

The city's main train station, operated by ONCF, is located s short distance from the downtown area of the Ville Nouvelle and is connected to the rail lines running east to Oujda and west to Tangier and Casablanca.[107][36] The main intercity bus terminal (or gare routière) is located just north of Bab Mahrouk, on the outskirts of the old medina, although CTM also operates a terminal off Boulevard Mohammed V in the Ville Nouvelle. Intercity taxis (also known as grands taxis) depart from and arrive at several spots including the B

The city's main train station, operated by ONCF, is located s short distance from the downtown area of the Ville Nouvelle and is connected to the rail lines running east to Oujda and west to Tangier and Casablanca.[107][36] The main intercity bus terminal (or gare routière) is located just north of Bab Mahrouk, on the outskirts of the old medina, although CTM also operates a terminal off Boulevard Mohammed V in the Ville Nouvelle. Intercity taxis (also known as grands taxis) depart from and arrive at several spots including the Bab Mahrouk bus station (for western destinations like Meknes and Rabat), Bab Ftouh (for eastern destinations like Sidi Harazem and Taza), and another lot in the Ville Nouvelle (for southern destinations like Sefrou).[36][108]

The city operates a public transit system with various bus routes.[109]

Fez has two football teams, MAS Fez (Fés Maghrebi) and Wydad de Fès (WAF). They both play in the Botola the highest tier of the Moroccan football system and play their home matches at the 45,000 seat Complexe Sportif de Fès stadium.

The MAS Fez basketball team competes in the Nationale 1, Morocco's top basketball division.

MAS Fez basketball team competes in the Nationale 1, Morocco's top basketball division.

Fez is twinned with: