Up above Bab Guissa, the crumbling remnants of the Merenid tombs stand vigil over the sprawling Medina, a particularly atmospheric place at dawn or dusk, when the call to prayer sweeps across Fez el Bali. From this superb vantage point you can delineate the more prominent of Fez’s reputed 365 mosque minarets. At sunset, the sky swarms with a frenzy of starlings, egrets and alpine swifts adding further spectacle to the scene. All around you are spread the Muslim cemeteries that flank the hills on each side of Fez, while below, the city’s major monuments protrude from the hubbub of rooftops. The pyramid-shaped roof of the Zaouia of Moulay Idriss II is easily defined. To its left are the two minarets of the Kairaouine Mosque: Burj en Naffara or the Trumpeter’s Tower (the shorter of the two) and the original minaret. The latter, slightly thinner in its silhouette than usual and with an unusual whitewashed dome, is the oldest Islamic monument in the city, built in 956 AD.

The sounds of the city, the stillness and the contained disorder below all seem to make manifest the mystical significance that Islam places on urban life as the most perfect expression of culture and society.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Morocco features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Chefchaouen: Morocco’s best-kept secret

Chefchaouen: Morocco’s best-kept secret

Morocco’s tourist track isn’t well-beaten, it’s been thumped flat. Ask anyone who has been and the chances are they’ll have visited some combination of …

05 Dec 2016 • Greg Dickinson insert_drive_file Article
A day-by-day itinerary for the perfect weekend in Marrakesh

A day-by-day itinerary for the perfect weekend in Marrakesh

The last few years have seen Marrakesh well and truly established as Morocco’s capital of chic, attracting the rich and famous from Europe and beyond. Yet t…

11 Jul 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
7 amazing African journeys

7 amazing African journeys

Africa is a continent of wild open savannahs, terracotta sunsets, thousands of vibrant green hills and rugged coastlines. Here, you can be chugging along on …

06 Jul 2016 • Harriet Constable insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month