Fes has been declared an Unesco World Heritage Site.  It is the religious and spiriitual capital of Morocco.  We were only able to spend one night in this ancient city.  We stayed in the heart of the Medina at the Ryad Mabrouka.  

The Travel Link local representative, Hamid, arranged a tour of the souks of the Medina. Souks are areas where makers and sellers of certain products are grouped together. 

Ryad Mabrouka

At Ryad Mabrouka in Fes we were greeted and served mint tea and cookies on the patio.  On the right is the lobby of the Ryad.  For our one night stay, we received an upgrade to the Royal Suite, which was located up the stairs.  Some images of the suite are seen below. 
Here are some images of the Royal Suite:  Above left door, above right ceiling of main room, below left is the main room showing our sleeping area at the far end and sitting area in the foreground, at right is the sitting area and an extra bed and below center is an office nook.

Our dinner and breakfast the next morning were served on the interior balcony.  This breakfast scene shows glasses of orange juice.  The orange juice in Morocco is amazing.

Souks of the Fes Medina

Mosque at entrance to medina


The Medina of Fes is the largest medina in the world.  Abdul was our guide for a two hour walking tour of a small section of the Medina.  I asked him for a map.  He replied there is no map.  He claimed that there were over 35,000 streets with 900 dead ends. Fes is the birthplace of craftsmanship.  

We visited many souks including carpentry, bronze etching, weaving, rugs and leather goods.  The tannery has been in operation since 1300.

Bronze etching

Our Guide - Abdul


Tannery and Leather Goods

The Process showing tanning vats, drying and colorization

The first stage of the tanning process is to remove the hair and flesh from the animal hides. The hides of camels, cows, goats and sheep are used.  Next the hides are soaked in vats.  Some of these vats have been in use for several hundred years.  The vat contains the tanning solution which is made from the bark of pomegranate or mimosa.

The tanned hides are hung out to dry in racks or on the terraces of nearby homes.

The hides are then rinsed and treated with fatty solutions to soften.  Afterwards they are transferred to vats with various natural pigments and dyes for colorization.

Getting ready for blue cororization

Method of transfer from tannery to the leather workers

Drying racks

Leather purses. The leather workers also make and sell jackets, babouches