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Publication Date


Document Type

Honors Project




Fès (Morocco)-History, Fès (Morocco)-Politics and government, Fès (Morocco)-Social life and customs, Fès (Morocco)-Buildings, structures, etc., Architecture-Morocco-Fès, Anthropology, Architecture, Urban design, Identity, North Africa, Moroccan Islam, French colonialism, Heritage, Power, Politics


The city of Fez is considered by locals and foreigners alike to be the cultural and spiritual "heart" of Morocco. This paper examines the effects of different social, religious, and political changes on the built environment of Fez. Beginning with the city's early development, tracing its growth as a city of Islamic learning, and continuing through the Protectorate period up to post-Independence, this thesis identifies, contextualizes, and clarifies the significance of the built environment as a factor in shaping greater notions of heritage and identity in post-colonial urban areas. The notion that the built environment is merely a setting for shaping notions of heritage and identity is challenged; rather, it exerts an influence in its own right. Protectorate policies from 1906 -1956 absorbed local neighborhood notables into the foreign administration, removing them from their prior neighborhoods. The loss of key figures within Old Fez changed the neighborhoods' social diversity and social structure as well as the quality of social interactions formed and encouraged by the design of its unique built environment. With this loss of this ‘sacred' shared community, the heritage and cultural identity represented by Old Fez has become a ‘shared notion' separate from the city's current reality.




158 p. : col. ill., map. Honors project-Northampton, Mass., 2011. Includes bibliographical references (p. 158)