Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Henna Souq in the Fez Medina - a Little Gem

The Souq El Henna (the Henna Souq) is one of the gems of the Fez Medina. Sadly, many people miss it as they travel down the main streets - it is off the Talaa Kebira and worth seeking out

To find the henna souq, walk down the Talaa Kebira and look out for the sign on your right

The little henna souq (market) is one of the medina's oldest and most picturesque squares, with two massive, gnarled plane trees in the centre and rows of spices, hennas, kohls, and aphrodisiacs for sale in the tiny stalls around the edges. The ceramic shops in the henna souq sell a wide variety of typically blue Fassi pottery.

Coming down the Talaa Kebira from Boujloud, locate the sign up on the wall and turn to the right and then immediately left through a small, dark, tunnel-like entrance.

Souq El Henna - a small space of tranquility in the Medina
Rose cream, argan oil and much more - ideal small gifts
The shop owners are friendly and knowledgeable 
Mohssin Zemmouri has good quality ceramics
More tagines than you will ever need!
Leo Africanus worked here as a young man. It's now a small kissaria (covered market)

At the square's end is a plaque dedicated to the Maristan Sidi Frej, a medical center and psychiatric and teaching hospital built by the Merenid ruler Youssef Ibn Yakoub in 1286. Used as a model for the world's first mental hospital—founded in Valencia, Spain, in 1410—the Maristan operated until 1944.

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