Sidi Moussa Tannery - Fes, Morocco
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member chrissyml
N 34° 03.840 W 004° 58.560
30S E 317644 N 3771013
Quick Description: A tannery in Fes
Location: Morocco
Date Posted: 1/15/2022 1:08:17 PM
Waymark Code: WM15K2N
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 0

Long Description:
From Wikipedia:

"Local tradition holds that the Sidi Moussa Tannery is the oldest in the city and that, along with the Chouara Tannery further east, it dates from the city's foundation by Idris II (beginning of the 9th century). The Rawd al-Qirtas, a historical chronicle, makes more definitive reference to the Sidi Moussa Tannery's existence in the early 12th century. The tanneries are built on the site of water source (called 'Ayn ad-Debbaghin) that emerges at this location.

Historical sources show that tanneries were a major industry even in the city's early history and were tied to a large part of its economy. The products of the city's tanneries were valued enough that they were exported all the way to Baghdad. Al-Jazna'i claims that the Almohads (late 12th to early 13th century) counted a total of 86 tanning workshops in the city, while a later source claims that there were around a hundred in the Marinid period (late 13th to 15th centuries). Historically, the Sidi Moussa Tannery specialized in treating cow skins.

The city's tanneries continued to be expanded or modified on several occasions even into modern times. In recent years the tanneries of the city have undergone restorations alongside efforts to reduce the amount of pollution they generate within the medina. Physical and structural restorations of the Sidi Moussa Tannery were completed in 2015. As part of this restoration effort, a new plan was also drawn up to lessen the most polluting activities at the tannery by having some steps of the tanning process take place at new facilities outside the old city instead. This move was scheduled to be completed by the end 2018."

source: (visit link)

What makes this a tour is that visitors are not only invited to browse the store and purchase jackets, slippers, wallets, purses, and ottomans made of leather, but they can also visit the balcony that overlooks the dying vats. You can watch the workers walk around between the vats of different colors of dye.

Some tips for visiting: having a guide who can speak Arabic is very helpful. The employees can speak English, French, and Arabic, but the owner is very pushy with his sales techniques. If you try to leave without making a purchase he becomes very insistent. We did purchase some items but he continued to insist that we buy more until our guide stepped in and told him in Arabic that this was all we were interested in buying.

It also smells horrible on the balcony overlooking the vats, so visitors are handed sprigs of mint leaves to hold under their noses to make it bearable.

This place doesn't have a traditional address. It is located in the medina in Fes. Locals just know the medina well and are able to navigate it. Visitors should hire a guide for the day. Not only will it help you to speak with business owners if you do not speak French or Arabic, it will also ensure that you can find your way around the medina, which is an incredibly confusing maze.
Free Sample Offered: no

Gift Shop Available: yes

Restaurant/Cafe Available: no

Length of Tour: Under 30 Minutes

Type of product manufactured: Apparel

Company Name: Chouara Tannery

Tour Hours: From: 8:00 AM To: 7:00 PM

Admission Price: 0.00 (listed in local currency)

Tour's Web Site: [Web Link]

Street Address:
Fes Medina
Fes, Morocco


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