An elderly gentleman cat living out his days in the Medina of Fez, which is both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the biggest car-free urban area in the world. Also known as Fes el Bali, the Medina is the oldest walled part of the city, and was founded as the capital of the Moroccan Idrisid dynasty between 789 and 808 AD. The Medina of Fez also boasts the oldest university in the world, the University of Al-Karaouine, and houses a population of 156,000.
As the capital for his newly acquired empire, Idris ibn Abdallah chose to build a new town on the right bank of the Fes river in 789 CE. In 809 CE his son, Idris II, decided to found a capital of his own on the opposite bank of the Fes River. Even though they were only separated by a relatively small river, the cities developed separately and became two individual places until they were unified in the 11th century by the Almoravids.
It was during these early years that the University of Al-Karaouine was built by a Tunisian refugee in 859 CE. It is considered the oldest university in the world.
Subsequently, Fes became a thriving merchant city, although it ceased to be a capital, and was even the largest city in the world with a population of approximately 200,000.
By the late 13th century, the Marinids had moved the capital from Marrakech back to Fes. This marked the beginning of the greatest period of the history of Fes el Bali.