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Zaouia Moulay Idriss II
Zaouia Moulay Idriss II

Zaouia Moulay Idriss II

Fez, Morocco

The basics

With its high, pyramidal green roof crisscrossed with low beams, which towers over the Medina of Fez (Fes el-Bali) and the surrounding alleys, the Zaouia of Moulay Idriss II is a city landmark. Only Muslims can gain entrance to pray in the mosque, pay their respects at the tomb, and appreciate its gorgeous zellige tilework and fine filigree woodwork. However, followers of other religions and none can admire its opulent carpets and horseshoe arches through the door. The zaouia is a common stop on Fez medina tours.

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Things to know before you go

  • There’s no charge to visit the Zaouia Moulay Idriss II.
  • Modest dress is important in the area around the Zaouia and in Fez generally. Loose, flowing garments are recommended; women will feel most comfortable covering at least their shoulders, upper arms, and legs.
  • Parents will want to use back carriers or slings, not strollers, in Fez medina.
  • The Medina of Fez is hilly with narrow, often cobbled streets. Travelers who use wheelchairs should plan their visit with a specialist operator.
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How to get there

The Zaouia of Moulay Idriss II sits in Fez medina, close to the Kairaouine Mosque and Al-Attarine Madrasa, about a 10-minute walk south of the Bab Guissa gate. Bus 10 connects Bab Guissa to the Fez train station.

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When to get there

The Zaouia is open to Muslims 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Non-Muslims wanting to take a peek through the door of this sacred space should avoid the period around Friday prayers, when the mosque is very busy.

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The Moussem of Moulay Idriss II

It was Moulay Idriss I who founded Fez, but Moulay Idriss II set the city on the path to greatness after his father died, aged just 33. The annual Moussem festival in September or October celebrates Idriss II as the city’s patron with a large parade where the city’s different religious groups process and perform music.

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