Dream away for 3-4 hours in the shaded with citrus trees and perfumed with orange blossom, red roses and sweet-scented jasmine , Islamic gardens. They were designed for tranquillity, reflection and relaxation in mind. Earthly paradises to inspire you and have a spiritual experience to find inner peace.
What to Expect
Basically three palace gardens were designed and opened to the public by Sultan Moulay Hassan in the 19th Century. These were the gardens of Dar Batha, Bou Jeloud and Dar Beida.
The Jnan Sbil gardens (formerly the Bou Jeloud gardens) on the north-western edge of the medina has palms, eucalyptus, weeping willows, citrus trees, and bamboo. Jnane Sbil encompasses 7.5 hectares and is located in the heart of the city. It is also known as the “oasis of the Medina”It is one of the oldest gardens in Fes. Because of its historical importance, great care was taken to restore the Jnan Sbil garden to its original design and after four years of detailed restoration and renovation of the heirloom plants, the hydraulic systems and the famous waterwheel, the project was completed and re-opened in June 2010. If you need a break after visiting the Medina, enter the gardens, sit by the water under the shade and cool off.
Dar Batha, which is now the Museum of the Arts and Traditions of Fes, is the only one of these palace gardens open to the public. It is an Andalucian garden with a three-hundred-year-old Quercus Rotundifolia, Washington Fiera, Cycas Revolta and Moroccan fountains. The Batha Garden is a serene escape from the busy medina of Fes. It serves as a location for the Fes Festival of Sacred World Music (spiritual Soufi music ) each June.
In the Arabic-Andalusian culture, the garden is a major element of architectural balance and of lifestyle. Fes was one of the first cities in the world to built a water distribution network which enabled the city to develop the art of gardening. The city was founded following the Muslim exodus from Spain in 1492 following the Reconquista and the exiles from Andalusia brought with them the artistic creativity culture and vision of Moorish Spain which has distinguished Fes ever since.
The Palais Jamai which is Fes’s premier five-star hotel and also a former palace has a superb Andalusian garden. Once the property of the Grand Vizier of Sultan Hassan, Haj Amaati Jamai. The garden is the oldest example of the Andalusian style in Fes with Al Hambra Classical Axial lines.
Robert Johnstone has created a beautiful garden in the ruin at Riad Idrissy which can be viewed daily from noon until 8 pm. Johnstone describes it as “half garden, half allotment.” In it, he grows gardenias, a jacaranda, papyrus, and a mix of edibles that are used in the riad’s kitchen, such as verbena, mint, chilies, sorrel, rosemary, parsley and tomatoes.
Jardin des Biehn is based on traditional Islamic forms, with water channels intersecting the garden, and fountains at one end. It was formerly the summer palace of a pasha who housed his concubines and slaves there. Now a boutique hotel, the rooms all open onto the lovely garden, which features roses, irises, large trees and a variety of edible herbs.
Fes et Gestes is a colonial house, which is now a Maison d’hote. It has four equal garden beds, with a grand fountain in the center.
The El Mokri Palace is located on the south of the old Medina on a hill – the hill of springs (El Ayoun), on the edge of the small valley of Wadi Fes and above the south gate, Bab Did. Built in around 1906 by Si Tayeb El Mokri, son of the king’s grand vizier the grand palace has a large garden with terraces and fountains. Ryad Mokri also has a fine and well-tended garden.
Also, the new town (Fez Jedid) has many wide avenues spotted with fountains and planted with plane trees, flowers and majestuous palm trees. These avenues are very lively in the evening during the hot season.
We recommend walking down the Ben-Abdellah and Hassan II avenues (main avenues of the city center). When you reach the main roundabout at the bottom of Hassan II Avenue, you can continue left along the wide Moulay Youssef avenue leading to the Royal Palace and Fez Jdid.
Many streets and avenues of the new town are planted with jacaranda trees, they are very beautiful in May or June, as they blossom the trees turn blue.
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