Fodor's Expert Review Zaouia of Moulay Idriss II

Fez el-Bali Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Originally built by the Idriss dynasty in the 9th century in honor of the city's founder—just 33 at the time of his death—this zaouia (sanctuary) was restored by the Merenid dynasty in the 13th century and has became one of the medina's holiest shrines. Particularly known for his baraka (divine protection), Moulay Idriss II had an especially strong cult among women seeking fertility and pilgrims hoping for good luck. The wooden beam at the entrance, about six feet from the ground, was originally placed there to keep Jews, Christians, and donkeys out of the horm, the sacred area surrounding the shrine itself. Inside the horm, Moroccans have historically enjoyed official sanctuary—they cannot be arrested if sought by the law. You may be able to catch a glimpse of the saint's tomb at the far right corner through the doorway; look for the fervently faithful burning candles and incense, and the tomb's silk-brocade covering. Note the rough wooden doors themselves,... READ MORE

Originally built by the Idriss dynasty in the 9th century in honor of the city's founder—just 33 at the time of his death—this zaouia (sanctuary) was restored by the Merenid dynasty in the 13th century and has became one of the medina's holiest shrines. Particularly known for his baraka (divine protection), Moulay Idriss II had an especially strong cult among women seeking fertility and pilgrims hoping for good luck. The wooden beam at the entrance, about six feet from the ground, was originally placed there to keep Jews, Christians, and donkeys out of the horm, the sacred area surrounding the shrine itself. Inside the horm, Moroccans have historically enjoyed official sanctuary—they cannot be arrested if sought by the law. You may be able to catch a glimpse of the saint's tomb at the far right corner through the doorway; look for the fervently faithful burning candles and incense, and the tomb's silk-brocade covering. Note the rough wooden doors themselves, worn smooth with hundreds of years of kissing and caressing the wood for baraka (blessing).

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Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Quick Facts

Bou Touil
Fez, Fès-Boulemane  Morocco

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Rate Includes: Entrance restricted to Muslims

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