Mapping the zâwiyas of Fez

My disposition for mapping shrines often leads me to volunteer my services to fellow academics working on the topic who may not have the time or expertise to make their own maps. I am always delighted when one of these collaborative projects comes to print.

Fès et sainteté, by Ruggero Vermicati Sanseverino, has just been published by the Centre Jacques Berque.

Fès et sainteté, by Ruggero Vermicati Sanseverino, has just been published by the Centre Jacques Berque.

Fès et sainteté, de la fondation à l’avènement du Protectorat (808-1912): hagiographie, tradition spirituelle et héritage prophétique dans la ville de Mawlây Idrîs has just been published by the Centre Jacques Berque in Rabat. This is an in-depth history of Sufism in the city by Ruggero Vimercati Sanseverino, currently a professor of Islamic theology at University of Tübingen.

At Ruggero’s request, I contributed a series of maps to the book. One set shows the historic evolution of the city from its Idrisid foundation in the early 9th century to its Merinid heyday, while another locates the various mosques, madrasas and Sufi zâwiyas discussed in the text. Ruggero provided the data; I mapped it.

Religious institutions of the Fez's Qarawiyyin neighborhood.

Religious institutions of Fez’s Qarawiyyin quarter.

Religious instirutions of Fez's Andalus quarter.

Religious instiutions of Fez’s Andalus quarter.

Since arriving in Morocco two decades ago I have striven to come to grips mapping its historic madinas, cities whose tight urban fabrics are a challenge to map (see this post on Morocco’s imperial cities). I am getting better at it. I am working on another such project at this very moment.

Fès et sainteté can be purchased in print from book stores but is also available for purchase in a variety of digital formats from Open Edition.


About ericrossacademic

Professor of Geography at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco
This entry was posted in cities, map work, publication, shrines, Sufism and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Mapping the zâwiyas of Fez

  1. Hello! This looks like an amazing publication, I’ve been looking for something similar for a while now. Is it available/will be available in English?

    • Dear Amal,

      This book only has a French version, and its author has no plans for an English-language translation. I do, however, know of a project to publish a pilgrim’s guide to the zâwiyas of Fez, in English and French versions. I am hoping that project will come to fruition. Watch this space!

  2. Hello Eric
    Has the ‘pilgrims guide to the zawiyas of Fez’ reached completion yet. I am travelling to Fez in May and wish to see as many as I can. Before Fez I am travelling Ouezzane for similar reasons.
    Thank you for your guides to the Zawiyas; they were very helpful in Marrakech too.
    Best wishes
    Geoff Billett

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