Sunday, January 31, 2010

Fes: A Medieval View

Guidebooks will tell you that Fes is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, because it is the world's largest intact medieval city. Founded in 808, Fes has survived sieges and seen migrations and growth. Now, it exists as a winding medina of 9,500 narrow streets where people live and work as they have for hundreds of years. Some say it's the food capital of Morocco, others praise the unique Fes carpets (similar to what Americans would expect from a Moroccan carpet), many claim it is the center of the best crafts (leather, zellij tilework, metalwork, textiles). Walking through, people call out to us, inviting us to visit their shops and peruse their wares. Bargaining is a must, though it's a bit hard, uncomfortable, for me to bargain someone down to 100 MAD (that's about $12) for a hand-woven scarf that took about 3 hours to make, or a carpet for $100 that took someone 3 months to make.

What does "medieval" mean, anyway? It's hard to imagine, so I would like to share with you some photos of Fes (through the eyes of me, the tourist), taken Nov. 2009.


1 comment:

  1. Karissa and Tom,

    Thanks much for the commentary and commecting "medieval" to the photo tour. Words like that need re-defining for me.