Founded in the 9th century and home to the oldest
university in the world, Fez reached its height in the 13th–14th
centuries under the Marinids, when it replaced Marrakesh as the capital
of the kingdom. The urban fabric and the principal 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 retained its status as
the country's cultural and spiritual centre.