The Mausoleum of Moulay Idriss
Fez, Athens of Africa
Fez, The town of Moulay Idriss lies northeast of Meknes, marked with the white houses surrounding the mausoleum considering it a spiritual center with timeless charm. Moulay Idriss, a town and religious site in northern Morocco, is a good option if you are looking for Fez Day Trips (along with nearby Volubilis).
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Fez, stood for many centuries as a pilgrimage center, toward the city's founder tomb, Moulay Idriss el Akhbar, a descendant of the Prophet of Islam Muhammad. On the city-sides, the six-foot wooden bars surrounding what is called the ‘holy district’, referring to non-Muslim people that this area is out of bounds to them.
Moulay Idris II, was born in 791, was the son and successor of Idris I. Idriss el Akhbar was a great-grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, from the lineage of Muhammad's daughter Fatima and Muhammad's cousin Ali.
Moulay Idris The Founder of Fez
Then, he went away after in 791, just before his son Idris (II) was born. Moving forward, Idris II officially took over his position as ruler in 803 over the new Idrisid state. By the help of the Arab immigrants, he won his independence from the Berber and its known that Idrisid on the rule of Morocco and parts of eastern Algeria until the day. His action of converting the people of Morocco mostly pagan Berber tribes to Islam and the support of many Arab Shiites loyal to the successors of the Prophet brought unity to the region, then constructed the city of Fez.
It's definite that Idris II is responsible for moving the capital of his state from Walili (former Volubilis) to what is now Fez after founding it in 809 a new city on the west bank of the river across from another settlement on the east bank founded by his father in 789, so as his successors followed his steps and the city got prestige with the creation of institutions like the Qarawiyyin mosque/university in 859. Moulay Idris has left Damascus and fled to Morocco when he was the heir to the caliphate in Damascus, but after the civil war and Umayyad victory that led to the Shia-Sunni divide, he fled to Morocco and arrived in 787. Idris founded Morocco's first Arab Dynasty.
The Divinity of Moulay Idris
The Mausoleum, encompasses a mosque, shrine, school (madrasa) then the sanctuary, where fruit and vegetables offered as offerings for Moulay Idriss. The Mausoleum Moulay Idris, made him the patron saint of the city of Fez and his shrine is one of the holiest in Morocco pilgrimage site. Especially during an important festival used to be held every year in the second week of August open only to Muslims and non-Muslims may not enter the mausoleum but can get a view from above up the hill. It’s believed locally that five pilgrimages to Moulay Idriss during the moussem equals one hajj to Mecca.
The Mausoleum Moulay Idris Building and Architecture
The Mausoleum structure following the map is, an entrance at the main square of the town, entered through three-arched gateways, encircled with many shops, however, non-muslims are not allowed to enter the inner barrier.
The structure was built following an architectural style called Alawi during the time Moulay Ismail was alive. The Mausoleum has a modern cylindrical minaret said to be the tallest in the old city of Fez, decorated with a chapter from the Qur'an inscribed in green mosaics. The Green-tiled dome is marking the burial grave of the mausoleum chamber. At the foot of the Minaret, a lane passage leading directly to a major market (souq).
The entrance of the structure is leading to an open-court (Sahn) with a central fountain of white marble. The walls of the construction include mihrab at the chamber are decorated with carved and painted stucco, mosaic tiles, and white and black marble columns. The ceiling of this chamber is a large wooden dome, composed of hundreds or thousands of small wooden pieces fitted together to produce a star-like pattern, as the type of Moorish-Moroccan architecture.