Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Fez, a town in Morocco, of which it became part in 1548, and is now the second capital. It is. situated about 100 miles E. of the Atlantic, and 80 S. of the Mediterranean, in an oval valley through which flows the "River of Pearls," dividing the town into the Old Town on the right bank, and the New Town on the left. The town is in a cultivated district, and presents a striking appearance from a distance, being surrounded with strong walls, which, however, are now falling into decay. There are many ruins of all kinds in the neighbourhood, and the hills to the S. are covered with groves of orange, olive, and zither trees. The streets are narrow and dirty, and present blank walls to the passer-by, the windows and openings generally being towards the courts and gardens. The houses are lofty, and on a level with the first floor are roofs of reed or the like, the result being that the sun never penetrates into the streets, and the people have the reputation of being the palest of all Moors. Once Fez was a great seat of learning, but it is no longer so. There are two principal mosques, one of which has a court for women worshippers, and the other is a refuge for criminals. There are good gardens round the palace. The town is a depot for the Barbary trade, and many caravans pass through it. The manufacture of fezzes were once a speciality, it being thought that the peculiar shade could not be manufactured elsewhere. This dye comes from a berry grown in the neighbourhood, and is used also in the preparation of morocco leather, much of which comes from Fez. The town was founded in 793 by Prince Edris, and became the capital of the Mahometan states of West Africa, and a very sacred city, which was often the object of pilgrimages. The Moors when expelled from Spain brought here their arts and manufactures. Though very hot in summer the climate is pleasant in winter. A road from Tangier (160 miles) is practicable for horses eind camels. The population consists of Berbers, Arabs, negroes, and Jews, the last managing to thrive in spite of the persecutions to which they are subjected.