Fès consists of the still vibrant old city (or medina; founded 808) and the new city (founded 1276), connected by walls. The city has more than 100 mosques; the mosque containing the shrine of Idris II, founder of the old city, is one of the holiest places in Morocco. The Qaraouiyine (or Qarawiyyin) mosque is the center of a Muslim university that was especially influential in the Middle Ages and has one of the world's oldest libraries. Fès is the destination of pilgrims who visit the many tombs of saints and scholars. The ulama, or religious council, of the city often played a role in the selection of the sultans of Morocco.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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