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Stepping Through The Blue Gates | Fes, Morocco


The Arch of the Blue Gate
The Arch of the Blue Gate

The Other Side is Green


Built in 1913, the bab (gate), the enormous mosaic-tiled archway full of intricate designs, is the most iconic portal to the old medina, Fes el-Bali, the world's largest surviving medieval city and urban car-free zone. Many shops, restaurants, and vendors display dry fruits, nuts, and dates. You can find just about anything there at reasonable prices and quality. Many people go through the gate every day.


The Blue Gate - Medina of Fes
The Blue Gate - Medina of Fes

The Grande Porte Bab Boujeloud, also known as "The Blue Gate of Fes," is not just a gate but a cultural landmark that stands as a testament to Fes' rich history. As you step out of the Bab Boujloud, you'll notice its other side is green. The vibrant blue, a symbol of Fes and its renowned pottery, welcomes new visitors with its elegant cobalt blue designs. The green side, facing the medina, represents the color of Islam, adding a cultural layer to the gate's significance. This unique blend of colors and symbolism is a sight to behold and a must-see for any cultural explorer.


One of the most significant discoveries inside the Bab Boujeloud gate is the University of Al Quaraouiyine, the oldest university worldwide. This historical site, once a mosque, is now a beacon of knowledge and learning. It's not just a place to visit but a testament to the rich intellectual history of Fes. There's so much to see and enjoy, from the handful of restaurants or cafes, some of which have terraces around the gate, to the opportunity to observe daily life in Morocco. I often used this beautiful gate as my reference point to return to my riad because it's an excellent navigation point.


The Barbershop within the Medina of Fes
The Barbershop within the Medina of Fes

The Ancient Walled City of Fez


Fez el Bali is not just a city but a treasure trove of extraordinary Islamic design and architecture. It's home to Andalusian gardens and museums, lively souks and markets, two leather tanneries, madrasas, and other spiritual centers. This city is one of the oldest in the world and is a must-visit for anyone.


The Brass shop within the Medina of Fes
The Brass shop within the Medina of Fes

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