Fez is one of the most important cities in Morocco. Located in the northern part of the country, this ancient city served as Morocco’s capital for centuries. The historic part of the city, known also as the Medina of Fez, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the site’s attractions is the Chouara Tannery, the largest tannery in the city.
Fes has been the capital city of Morocco several times since its founding. Between 1244 and 1465, it was the capital under the Marinid dynasty, before returning to the Idrisid dynasty between 1465 and 1471.
The cultural and historical center of the city is Fes el Bali, the larger of the two old medinas and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ancient medina is a car-free urban area, believed to be one of the largest of its kind in the world.
Since the inception of the city, the tanning industry has been continually operating in the same fashion as it did in the early centuries. Today, the tanning industry in the city is considered one of the main tourist attractions. There are three tanneries in the city; the largest among them is Chaoura Tannery near the Saffarin along the river, built in the 11th century. The tanneries are packed with the round stone wells filled with dye or white liquids for softening the hides. The leather goods produced in the tanneries are exported around the world. The two other major tanneries are the sidi Moussa Tannery to the west of the Zawiya of Moulay Idris II and the Ain Azliten Tannery in the neighborhood of the same name on the northern edge of Fes el-Bali.