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The oldest of Morocco’s four “imperial cities”, Fez (also spelled Fes) was founded in 790 BC. A bustling and lively city filled with contrasts, it is reminiscent of life in the Middle Ages. Fez was at one point during the 12th century the world’s largest city, when it was the centre of the Kingdom of Fez. It became a religious and scientific centre attracting people from all over Europe, and also provided refuge to those fleeing the Reconquest of Spain in the late 15th century. The French colonisation of Morocco was a mixed blessing for Fez – it ensured the preservation of the Old City, but also led to the city’s decline. The capital of Morocco was moved from here to Rabat in 1912, and remained there after Morocco was granted independence in 1956.
Secrets of the City: