Royal Palace – Fez
Until 1925, Fes was the capital of Morocco, and it is now the capital of the Fès-Boulemane administrative region. The modern Turkish name for Morocco, Fas, originally referred only to the capital city.
The city has two old medinas, the larger of which is Fes el Bali. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is believed to be one of the world’s largest car-free urban areas. Al-Qarawiyyin, founded in AD 859, is the oldest continuously functioning madrasa in the world. The city has been called the “Mecca of the West” and the “Athens of Africa”.
Fez’s Royal Palace and gardens are strictly closed to the public, but even from the outside they’re an impressive sight. From Place des Alaouites, take a close look at the door’s giant brass knockers, made by artisans from Fez el-Bali, as well as the imposing brass doors themselves. Inside are various palaces, 200 acres of gardens, and parade grounds, as well as a medersa founded in 1320. One of the palaces inside, Dar el-Qimma, has intricately engraved and painted ceilings.
The street running along the palace’s southeast side is Rue Bou Khessissat, one side of which is lined with typically ornate residential facades from the Mellah’s edge. Note: Security in this area is high and should be respected. Guards watch visitors carefully and will warn that photographs of the palace are forbidden; cameras are sometimes confiscated.
Sources: Wikipedia, Fodor’s