Fez Old Medina Revamp: Unwavering Will by HM the King to Preserve Ancient City
PERSISMA, Fez – HM King Mohammed VI visited, on Monday, several projects carried out under the Fez old city rehabilitation and revamp programs, and launched the restoration works of “Al Batha” museum and the building works of a Jewish culture museum.
These projects, either visited or launched today by the sovereign, are in line with HM the King’s insightful vision aimed at preserving the national heritage in all its components and protect it for the benefit of future generations, and with efforts to promote the influence of Fez which has always been an example of coexistence between civilizations and cultures.
They also show HM the King’s desire to ensure a sustainable and responsible development for tourism, with a high human and cultural value added, improve the inhabitants’ living conditions, preserve the urban and architectural aspect and promote the tangible and intangible heritage of the country’s spiritual capital.
The sovereign visited the Seffarine Hammam (public bath), restored by the ministry of endowments and Islamic affairs for 9.6 million dirhams, as well as the Staouniyine Foundouk (inn) whose restoration works totaled 50 Mlm dirhams and turned it into a center for innovation and sharing of ideas on weaving crafts.
HM the King also visited the development project of Lalla Yeddouna square artisan complex worth 333 Mln dirhams. The project consists in the rehabilitation of 11 traditional buildings, the construction of 7 new ones, the development of El Jawahir river and its outer areas, and the restoration of the Bin Lamdoune historical bridge.
Out of the complex’s 18 buildings, only one is still under construction and will be complete by the end of this month. The delay was caused by archeological finds.
The sovereign visited afterwards the Lalla Yeddouna heritage and information center “Fez: Heritage Center”, a place for raising the public’s awareness on the importance of the city’s heritage, as well as the different actions and initiatives undertaken to safeguard it.
HM the King, then, launched the restoration works of the “Al Batha” museum and the building works in the Fez Jdid neighborhood of a Jewish culture museum, projects that mirror the sovereign’s unwavering will to keep the architectural identity of the city of Fez, the special interest the Commander of the Faithful takes in the cultural and spiritual heritage of the Moroccan Jewish community and his steadfast determination to preserve the wealth and diversity of the Moroccan identity’s components.
These two projects are part of the 2018-2023 Fez old medina complementary upgrading program worth 583 mln dirhams, under an agreement inked before HM the King on may 14, 2018 in Rabat royal palace. The large-scale program provides for revamping 11 historical monuments and symbolic sites, 10 sites of worship (mosques and Quranic schools), 37 places of well-being (hammams, fountains and sanitary facilities), the rehabilitation of 39 places for handicrafts and traditional trade, the amelioration of the urban landscape and buildings (15 sites) as well as the refurbishment of Dar Al Makina.
Two projects under this program were completed. They are the Lalla Yeddouna heritage and information center and that of Bab Mahrouq. 32 projects are under way, including 12 related to traditional fountains worth 97 mln dirhams.
As part of reinforcing the Fez old Medina’s tourism attractiveness and enhancing its inhabitants’ livelihood, a program to develop car parks, revamp public areas and establish an information mechanism is in progress.
The program, worth 400 Mln dirhams, seeks to improve access to the old city via the development of 8 car parks (Bab El Hamra, Bab Jdid, Bin Lamdoune, Oued Ezzhoun, Bab El Kissa, Ain Azelitine, Bab Boujloud, Sidi Bounafaâ) with 3,200 parking lots, road paving (23 km), the mailing for streets, alleys, squares and small squares in the city and the setting up of information stands to serve residents, visitors and tourists.
The development works on the Bab El Kissa and Bin Lamdoune car parks have already begun, while the development projects of the Bab Boujloud, Sidi Bounafaa, Bab Jdid and Ain Azelitine car parks are in the contract awarding phase. The invitation to tender documents for contract awarding concerning the Bab El Hamra and Oued Ezzhoun car parks are in the preparation phase.