[Arab. Fās; Fr. Fès]
City in northern Morocco. The role of Fez as a city of artisans and commerce was assured by its location in the midst of a fertile and well-watered undulating region at the crossroads of the east–west passage from the Atlantic Ocean through the Taza Gap to Algeria with the north–south route from the Mediterranean Sea to the Sahara. The oldest Islamic foundation in Morocco, Fez preserves the monuments, souks, craft traditions and commerce of a pre-modern Islamic city. It also enjoys considerable religious and intellectual importance owing to the presence of the Qarawiyyin Mosque and University. UNESCO has funded the elaboration of a master plan for the city to help solve the problem of conserving a competitive, modern urban centre within a city museum.
In ad 789 Idris I (reg 789–93), eponym of the Idrisids (reg 789–926), a local Shi‛ite dynasty, founded the city of Fez (Arab. madīnat fās...