Moroccan people have an important cultural heritage, and they are always proud to show it to others. Also, they are always glad to receive other cultures in order to create a dialogue between all nations, cultures, religions, and civilizations, and the Fes World Sacred Music Festival is the best example of this desire.
Founded in the 9th century and home to the oldest university in the world, the Al-Qarawiyyin University, Fez reached its height in the 13th and 14th centuries under the rule of the Marinid dynasty, when it replaced Marrakesh as the capital of the kingdom.
The urban fabric and the most important monuments in the medina – madrasas, fondouks, palaces, residences, mosques and fountains – date from this period. Although the political capital of Morocco was transferred to Rabat in 1912, Fez has remained the intellectual and spiritual capital of the kingdom, and it has become a center for meetings and exchanges, and was chosen as the World Capital of Islamic Culture in 2007. It is reported that Sylvester II (Gerbert d’Aurillac), Pope from 999 to 1003, stayed during his youth in Fes in order to study. As a result, he introduced Arabic numerals into Europe.
Maimonides, Jewish physician and philosopher, taught at the Qarawiyyin University. The work of this philosopher is a wonderful illustration of the symbiosis of the Judeo-Islamic culture that prevailed in Andalusia and found a similar echo in Fez.
The Fes World Sacred Music Festival, created in 1994, falls under the scholarly tradition, as well as the artistic and spiritual life of the city. Since its creation, this event has been an absolute continental and international success. The Fez Festival of 2001 was designated o by the United Nations as one of the events that has contributed in a most remarkable fashion to the dialogue of civilizations.
Many other cities have been influenced by this important event and have organized many similar festivals, such as Milan, London and Madrid, in order to extend the message of the Festival of Fes: the dialogue of spirituality through music, creating a culture of peace promoted by a plural globalization, and respect of ethical and spiritual values.
Fes is a central space of cultural exchange par excellence, so you are invited to discover the spirituality of this city that welcomes all nations, regardless of their culture and religion, in order to have an image of the world as a place that can be full of peace and love.
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